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    Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances $2.45
    Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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    Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances
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    Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 08/07/2014 07:54:49

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This Dungeon Dressing-installment clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

    What's the first thing a noob-group trying their hands at Rappan Athuk will tell you? Yep. "We've been TPK'd by the entrance." The first page makes one thing clear, if you haven't been aware of it before (or by that anecdote) - a dungeon's entrance goes a long way making a dungeon memorable. For the truly time-starved DM, 16 ready-made entrances are provided in the first table, several of which sport interaction opportunities for skill-checks, including DCs and all - what about a locked portcullis with an evocation-magic radiating phoenix, for example?

    A 50-entry-strong, two pages spanning table of dressings and features can be used to add unique and memorable dressings to the entrances - including illusion magic (including disbelief-DC), graves of adventurers, abandoned campsites - foreshadowing potential galore, once again interspersed with minor crunch even minor treasure to be found.

    A total of 6 traps is also part of the deal, spanning CRs from 2 to 6 and coming with variations to amp up the CR, if desired. Fusillades of arrows combined with pit traps and mist and lightning +storm winds + elemental-summoning make for interesting traps indeed, all provided in RSP's extremely easy to use trap-statblock. While not explicitly multi-round in every trap, the effective results from springing these boils down to the players being occupied for a while...and don't worry - just because one is called "Death Trap Foyer", does not mean that these approach Rappan Athuk's level of lethality...


    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's superb, streamlined and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard with thematically-fitting, neat b/w-stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

    Greg Marks delivers a memorable little tool for effective foreshadowing, with all tables breathing flair and style galore. The traps themselves are detailed and actually explain how they work rather well, making it exceedingly easy to integrate them, even for DMs like yours truly that actually require their players to roleplay disarming of traps... My only gripe with this pdf is admittedly mostly cosmetic - I would have preferred a less conservative trap to be included as well. This is cosmetic, though - the pdf still justly deserves a final verdict of 5 stars, just short of the seal of approval.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 05/08/2014 10:09:37

    They say don't judge a book by its cover, but the entrance of any structure may well determine if you decide to go in. So, you've designed a fantastic dungeon, how are you going to entice the party to venture into it?

    The first section, Characteristics and Appearance, talks about setting the scene. Will you use your entrance to set the tone for the rest of the dungeon, will it foreshadow some of what is to come? Or will it look completely innocuous? Will it be trapped or have other challenges that the party must overcome before they can even set foot in the place? Once you've had time to mull over these ideas - or if you're in a hurry you can move straight on - there's a table of options, some 16 of them, which basically give you 'read aloud' text for when the party walks up to the entrance of the dungeon. (Of course, this may not be an actual 'hole in the ground' dungeon, I'm using the term loosely to represent any structure that you want to have the party explore in classic 'dungeon crawl' style.)

    Next comes Dressings and Features. This gives some of those little touches that make the place come alive, or raise thoughts in the characters' heads about just what they are getting themselves into. There's about half an hundred of these. Perhaps Lightning has struck nearby and turned the ground to glass, or maybe a big red "X" has been drawn on the wall or floor near the entrance... it may be completely meaningless, or at least unconnected to what lies inside, but maybe not....

    Finally, there's a selection of Tricks and Traps. Now, any treatise on dungeon design is replete with those, but these ones are designed specifically for an entrance. Maybe its a death-trap foyer, where visitors can be trapped and attacked if those within don't like the looks of them (no, double glazing salesmen are not fair game, however annoying!). There's also a demonic gate, guarded by a demon mask and comprising all sorts of nasty events if not approached with the correct token, and the lightning hall which is frankly quite shocking.

    Make the entrance to your dungeon as memorable as what lies within.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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