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    Dungeon Dressing: Fiendish Traps $2.45 $1.84
    Average Rating:4.1 / 5
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    Dungeon Dressing: Fiendish Traps
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    Dungeon Dressing: Fiendish Traps
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/25/2013 02:56:18

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This unconventional installment of the Dungeon Dressing-series is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page advice on reading statblocks, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so what do we get?

    Well, the first trap, the Die (at EL 3) is brilliant - a cube with each side being tiled and blasting foes with various deadly effects, alternating the tiles that spray forth from the walls and ceiling - including a pass-code to get past the trap as well as graphical representations of each side of the cube and a verse to help solving this puzzle-trap -as well as extensive pieces of information to disable the trap the hard way via sabotaging the complex mechanisms behind the room. We also get scaling advice to EL 2 and 4.

    The second trap is no true trap per se, but rather more of an encounter - the shop of Pedamare, a scrupulous advanced invisible stalker who seeks to cheat his "customers" out of their money without handing them items and while his sales tactics and deceptive nature as well as the list of what's for sale etc. make for an interesting encounter, at least to me, the shoppe is not a true trap - in spite of the cool terrain features. El is btw. 9 with scaling for +/-1 provided.

    The third entry is once again brilliant - Unbalanced Mortality is a corridor that is balanced like a see-saw that has its weight determined not by weight, but by the weight of sin (or rather, lack thereof!) - hence increasing the chance of good creatures dropping from the tilting corridor, which btw. also comes with full rules for holding on for different angles - neat. Especially when adding the Alkyrait accuser devil to the fray. Again, EL 6 with +/-1 scaling information is provided. But why can't the devil increase the trap's tilting? Seriously, this creature screams "I can make this more lethal" - but remains an relatively bland added combat-component.


    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one for print-use. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    Author David Posener knows how to create evil traps - and he does: Twice. Two of the traps herein are pure gold and actually fun and great examples of trap design. The thing is - the third isn't. It's a social encounter and while I applaud the notion of non-lethal, unconventional traps - it's not a trap. And not an inspired one at that, but rather one that would require the PCs to be rather stupid to fall afoul of. Honestly, its inclusion imho is jarring, diminishing the overall appeal of the pdf and wasting 2 of the pdf's pages. This would kick in at full 5 stars - but the second "trap" imho drags the product slightly down and the unrealized additional complication in the final trap also is a minor blemish. And usually I still wouldn't mind - but at this short length, every component has to hit home as hard and awesome as the first trap - and they don't. Hence, I'm looking forward to improvement in a sequel and settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Dungeon Dressing: Fiendish Traps
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 06/02/2013 10:36:40

    This work contains but three traps... but each one is ingeniously-designed and provides plenty of scope for the party - not just the usual trap-magnet (i.e. rogue) - to attempt to deal with it. The text is littered with comments such as 'this trap has an obvious flaw which the designer failed to notice' and the like: however anyone speculating that they are easy to deal with needs to be met with a growl of "Easy for Leonardo"...

    They are complex traps, ones which require a lot of effort from whoever created the dungeon in the first place to set up. They work best if you are designing a dungeon that falls into the classic mode of a place constructed deliberately to provide a challenge to marauding adventurers - they are not the sort of thing that you'd set up just to keep unwelcome guests out of your underground lair. However, if the 'challenge dungeon' is what you want, they will provide excellent fun, at least from behind the GM's screen.

    Each trap has plenty of detail to enable you to run it, from descriptions of what the characters see to a run-down of the mechanics - both in terms of game mechanics (die rolls required and so on) and in terms of the engineering of the trap itself. Provided you allow for the existance of magic and other appurtenances of the fantasy world, they 'work' within the alternate reality of your game setting, which is always a nice touch, particularly if you have mechanically-minded players whose trap-busting approach is to try and figure it out. (Memories of a spy game where I gave the characters a cryptography challenge... only to discover at a convention that one of the players was actually a real-life cryptographer working somewhere in the murky depths of the intellegence services - he didn't bother to roll dice, he just worked it out!)

    So, if you like trap challenges these are well worth a look.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
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