GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (PFRPG)

4.90/5 (based on 19 ratings)
GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (PFRPG)
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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM's Resource by Ben Armitage, Alexander Augunas, Aaron Bailey, John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Jeff Erwin, James Graham, Brian Gregory, Eric Hindley, Ben Kent, Thomas King, Greg Marks, Andrew J. Martin, Jacob W. Michaels, Julian Neale, Chad Perrin, David Posener, Brian Ratcliff, Pierre van Rooden, Liz Smith, Josh Vogt and Mike Welham

Tired of dungeons lacking in verisimilitude? Want to add cool little features of interest to your creations but don't have the time to come up with nonessential details? Want to make your dungeons feel more realistic?

Then GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing is for you! This gigantic compilations comprises all 34 instalments in the line as well as scores of riddles, new material and design essays by Creighton.

GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing presents loads of great features to add to your dungeon. Designed to be used both during preparation or actual play, GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing is an invaluable addition to any GM's armoury!

GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing presents the material originally appearing in:

  • Dungeon Dressing: Altars
  • Dungeon Dressing: Archways
  • Dungeon Dressing: Bridges
  • Dungeon Dressing: Captives
  • Dungeon Dressing: Ceilings
  • Dungeon Dressing: Chests
  • Dungeon Dressing: Corpses
  • Dungeon Dressing: Doom Paintings
  • Dungeon Dressing: Doors
  • Dungeon Dressing: Double Doors
  • Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Entrances
  • Dungeon Dressing: Dungeon Names
  • Dungeon Dressing: Fiendish Traps I
  • Dungeon Dressing: Fiendish Traps II
  • Dungeon Dressing: Floors
  • Dungeon Dressing: Fountains
  • Dungeon Dressing: Gates & Portals
  • Dungeon Dressing: Goblin’s Pockets
  • Dungeon Dressing: Legends
  • Dungeon Dressing: Legends II
  • Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents
  • Dungeon Dressing: Pits
  • Dungeon Dressing: Pools
  • Dungeon Dressing: Portcullises
  • Dungeon Dressing: Sarcophagi
  • Dungeon Dressing: Secret Doors
  • Dungeon Dressing: Simple Magic Traps
  • Dungeon Dressing: Stairs
  • Dungeon Dressing: Statues
  • Dungeon Dressing: Tapestries
  • Dungeon Dressing: Thrones
  • Dungeon Dressing: Trapdoors
  • Dungeon Dressing: Walls
  • Dungeon Dressing: Wells
  • So What’s The Riddle Like, Anyway?
  • So What’s The Riddle Like, Anyway? II
  • So What’s The Riddle Like, Anyway? III

New Material: Three new fiendish traps as well as material focusing on concealed doors, strange growths, illumination, graffiti and loads of miscellaneous dungeon features; also includes nine dungeon design essays by Creighton.

All That Glimmers: Also includes as a free special bonus are treasures hoards 1-20 from All That Glimmers—after all, what’s a dungeon without treasure!

For a free sample head over to ragingswan.com/dungeon

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

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Average product rating:

4.90/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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5/5

DISCLAIMER: I got this PDF for free to review.

This is a massive tome of details and ideas for fantasy adventures. It will serve anyone who needs fixture descriptions and assortments of traps, puzzles and treasure. Everything you need for dungeon design is in this book. Even casual reading breeds ideas for encounters, location details and even whole adventure ideas.
It is perfect for DMs who (like me) don't have natural inclination for providing details, to enrich the locations and make adventures more memorable. Even for those who do it is very useful since it reduces the workload considerably.
The dungeon design section, while I've seen better and more detailed books on the same topic, gives all the basics you need to pay attention to.
Only negative thing about this book are the bookmarks, which need to be reorganized and reduced (I'm guessing they were for the most part ported from constituting pdfs) and some of them fixed (first few instances of nested bookmarks all send you to page 240 or so).
And seriously, I need to get this book in print.
And seriously, you could use Dungeon & Wilderness Dressing, Tribes Most Foul compilation and one of the Village Backdrop compilations and run a whole sandbox campaign out of those four books.


A great tool for GM's and creating dungeons


Background for me: I’m a new-ish GM and one of my biggest struggles is creating a dungeon that’s more than “go here, kill monsters, and get loot”. It’s something I struggled with when I started to the point I avoided dungeons to begin with or just used ones from other sources (I’ve used a few from various pathfinder modules for example) and plopped them in my games and tweaked a few things.

But I don’t like doing that, I like creating my own things (I’m using my own homebrew world that I wrote up for my games). I like being creative and using cool things to keep my players on their toes and for them to have a good time.

This book is probably the perfect thing for that. It’s just above 300 pages and goes into depth about basically everything you could ever want in a dungeon. Ranging from general advice about dungeon design, to traps, magical fountains, portals, etc., this book has a huge amount of material to pick and choose from.
The book itself is broken in a few main sections:

Dungeon Design – the basics of creating a dungeon that’s more than a loot cave. It’s all about fleshing out your ideas in a way that will excite your players.
Dungeon Dressing – how to fluff up the dungeon. Your party is fighting a lich in his home? What sort of throne would he want to be sitting on, what sort of altars would be around, etc. Also traps. Lots and lots of traps. This is the main component of the book and it is incredibly in-depth with what you can use and choose from.
Riddles – who doesn’t love these? I’m not great at coming up with them myself, but I do love throwing them at my players every now and then. Similar to traps, there’s a lot here on how to design them, and a lot of ones to choose from as well.

And then treasure hoards. One of the hallmarks of good dungeons: memorable loot. Rather than just dolling out hundreds of gold and calling it good, the book provides plenty of hoards of treasure for adventurers of all levels and also provides plenty of magical gear as well.

I’m going to be honest here, I haven’t read the entire thing. It’s huge. There’s a ton here. To me, this is going to be the book I turn to when I want to create a unique and interesting dungeon to my players. There’s so much here for any GM: whether it be a relative newcomer like me or a veteran looking to get some quick ideas, there’s something here for that.

5 / 5, no doubt.


Very useful and interesting book.

5/5

This massive book is outstanding. The sheer amount of material this book have is huge, there are tables filled with description for basically everything you can find in a dungeon, from the basic (Walls, statues, gates), to the more unusual to be described (like tapestries, and graffities).

As a DM I tend ignore the little details that truly flesh out the dungeon. Well, never again. No more "it is a throne", instead

"A depiction of a large hooded snake forms the back of the throne, its fanged mouth wide in a silent hiss. The armrests end in angry carved viper heads".

Repeat for everything else in a dungeon.

5 stars.


A Very Useful GM Resource

5/5

Full Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for review purposes. I strive to review thoroughly and fairly.

This book is over 300 pages of delightful tricks and tools for GM’s to use when building an adventure, or just trying to spice up their descriptions. The book is divided into 4 major sections: Dungeon Design, Dungeon Dressing, Riddles, and Treasure Hoards. There are tables in this book. LOTS of tables. Please note, this book is written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but much of it is system neutral and could be used in ANY roleplaying game that has dungeon type features.

Dungeon Design is 9 pages long and contains entirely system neutral tips for building dungeons. This is VERY useful information for a GM designing their first dungeon, and good reminders for an older GM. Everything in this chapter is good info, it all is “take what you need and leave the rest,” type of information.

Dungeon Dressing is about 250 pages long. If you have purchased ANY of Raging Swan Press’ “Dressing” products, the format here will be very familiar to you. Each section contains a brief page of information about the dungeon feature you are putting in your dungeon, a table of different versions of that item, a table of characteristics, a table of dressing and features, and a few examples of trapped versions of that dungeon feature. For example: the section on arches starts with a page describing what arches are, different types of arches (inflexed, lancet, etc), and different materials you could make your arch out of (bone, glass, stone, etc). The next page is a percentile table that describes interesting characteristics for your archways (two statues facing one another support the archway). The next two pages are a table describing dressing and Features for your archway (a slight draft flows up from the tiles within the archway). The next two pages describe a few trapped archways. The traps are designed for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The idea is that you can either roll on the tables to generate random archways, or read through the tables for inspiration to build your own archways. This pattern is more or less repeated for the majority of this section and describes a multitude of dungeon features. The first major deviation is in the “Fiendish Traps” section. These are all designed for the PFRPG and they are amazing and challenging traps that far surpass a “roll a disable device check, you pass or fail” trap mechanic. Of note, the Illumination section starts with the most concise rendering of Pathfinder’s Light rules that I have ever seen.

Riddles is about 20 pages long and starts with two pages about designing riddles and using riddles in a RPG. This was interesting reading! The use of riddles essentially depends upon your group. You want to challenge them. You don’t want to frustrate them with riddles that they can’t figure out. You don’t want to give them riddles that are too easy and present no challenge either. The rest of the section consists of different riddles that you could use or use as examples to help you write your own.

Treasure Hoards is the last 40 pages or so and consists of 12 treasure hoards for each character level (assuming levels 1 through 20). This is the sort of thing that you could pull out if your players get a random encounter with an owlbear, then decide to go hunt down its lair for the loot (that you didn’t think to prepare ahead of time for a random encounter!). You can pull up one of these and just hand over an appropriate amount of loot.

Overall, this is a highly useful product for a GM that would use it. The evil GM in me loves the Fiendish Traps and the Riddles sections. Format is 2 column standard in Black and White. Are is black and white stock art and is good. There were very few editing errors at all in the whole document, which is impressive for a book this size from a small publisher. I’ll admit that this is a hard book to sit down and read cover to cover, but each section makes for interesting reading. I found myself either chuckling or commenting, “that’s a neat idea,” or, “Cool!” as I was reading individual tables. I cannot think of any justifiable reasons to take stars away from this stellar product. It’s a niche GM book, but for GM’s who could use it, it’s a very valuable resource. 5/5 stars.


A Must Have for the GM

5/5

Raging Swan Press’ GM’s Miscellany Dungeon Dressing is a must read for every GM. The book’s primary focus is on the design of dungeons, from small ruined complexes to massive megadungeons that run throughout an entire region. Dungeon Dressing starts by detailing the bigger picture of a dungeon and the room within it: the purposes for which the dungeon was created in the world, how its usage has changed through time, and how the inhabitants affect the dungeon. From there, it goes into detailing the dungeon as a living community or base, as opposed to the typical stone experience and loot box that many stereotypical dungeons fall into, as well as how to detail rooms within the dungeon to this end.

The meat of this book falls into the things that populate the dungeon- the dungeon dressings; from unique altars to trapdoors and captives. After helping you design your dungeon, Raging Swan gives you a whole list of interactable objects to populate your dungeons with, some of them being helpful to players and some working against them. The book also details one of the major components of a typical dungeon: treasure hordes.

Whether you’re new to GMing, or you’ve been at it for a while, Raging Swan Press’ GM’s Miscellany Dungeon Dressing has something for everyone. If you haven’t already picked up a copy of this book, go ahead- it’ll be the perfect addition to your Pathfinder collection.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Now available!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks Liz!

If you want to learn more about GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing you can access 34 free samples via the product's webpage.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is so much good stuff in here!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I complete agree and endorse wholeheartedly Mike's comment!


I second the motion.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks so much for posting this review, UncleRiotous. I'm delighted you enjoyed the book so much!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and Lou Agresta's RPGaggression and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Awesome review from EZG! Cheers! :)


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Man I got a little swell of pride at seeing the OMG LOCKS part =D

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Blimey. I'm beyond proud and chuffed at your review Endzeitgeist. I'm sorry you had to read such a massive book to do it! As always, thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

(I'm also glad you are using the book in your own campaign - that's jolly marvellous!)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Brian, I felt the same way about the lighting/illumination section comments. That's the first one of these I've done and I'm thrilled that Endz liked it so much. Thanks again for the opportunity, Creighton!


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I have been hesitant to purchase the Miscellany options (Dungeon, Wilderness, Urban) because I already have a majority of the PDFs, but ENDZ's reviews (as usual) have begun to persuade me to obtain the book versions.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks very much, Elorebaen! I much appreciate it. I hope you find them useful. At the very least, should should be able to beat misbehaving players with GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing - it's heavy enough.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks very much, Ken, for the review. I'm delighted you enjoyed the book so much. I hope it gives you many happy hours of gaming!


Since I fully intend to coerce some pdfs from you via your amazing free pdf offer, I feel it's only fair to leave a review! Especially since the book is so good!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thank you Ken for leaving such a nice review. Thank you also to Lisa who also just posted up her thoughts. You are both a top chap/chapess.


Reviewed!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thank you, necromental, for the review! I'm grateful for the time you spent with GM: DD and I hope it gives you many hours of happy gaming!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thank you for the review, Mark. It's jolly decent of you, and I'm glad your players enjoyed the book!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks so much for the review, El Ronza! It's much appreciated and I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much!

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