A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’s Resource supplement by David Posener
Got barely enough time to prepare the module? Want to include cool, evocative random encounters in your games, but just don’t have the time to prepare them? Bored of pointless random encounters comprising bands of generic monsters that only seem to exist to attack wandering PCs? Then Random Marsh Encounters is for you!
Presenting eight ready-to-use random encounters ranging in EL from 2-8 (and 16 stat blocks ranging from CR 1/2-8) all suitable for use in any marshland or swamp, Random Marsh Encounters takes the pressure off the time-crunched GM, enabling him to concentrate on crafting cool, evocative adventures!
Chanamas: Frog Prince...Of Darkness (EL 7): A polymorphed bone devil leads his gullible lizardfolk acolytes through the marsh in search of new recruits for his burgeoning kingdom.
Events Come To A Head (EL 5): A band of kobold raiders with a bag of (regenerating) troll heads prove a surprising encounter!
Forlorn Mother (EL 7): A distraught mother begs the PCs for aid in tracking down the evil crone Hassani who has just stolen her newborn child!
Gnawing Father (EL 3): In a terrible rage, Tranek (husband of the Forlorn Mother) hacks his way through the swamp in search of his child. Woe betide any who get in his way for he is very hungry...
Knightly Apparitions (EL 8): On an ancient battlefield lurk invisible, malicious and evil creatures that feed on the terror of those unfortunate enough to stumble into their lair.
Resolute Crone (EL 8): A sodden camp in the depths of the swamp is home to the crone Hassani and her many children.
Serpentine Sage (EL 6): The hydra diviner Chalos enjoys speaking with travellers...if he can resist the urge to eat them!
Wanderer (EL 2): Bral, Warden of the Marsh, wanders his home, keeping it safe from those who would do it ill.
This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.
This ZIP file also contains a separate PDF containing the product's compiled stat blocks enabling the busy GM to build up a handy library of ready-to-go stat blocks.
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?
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 author David Posener.