GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (PFRPG)

***** (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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***** (based on 19 ratings)

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The best GMs toolbox for Pathfinder!

*****

I wholeheartedly recommend this to GMs of ANY fantasy RPG! It is an excellent general-use GMs toolbox, both for preparing homebrew adventures, and for adding content to published adventures. It is also VERY useful while playing AT the table, where I use it a lot. To me it reminds me of the 1e AD&D DMG (all the charts at the back of the book), but Raging Swan Press' Dungeon Dressing book is just (to me) MUCH more directly useful, and it VERY well organized. Besides LOTS of random tables containing A LOT of solid and imaginative content, there is also a lot of very useful CRUNCH information in this book.
For ANY Pathfinder GM I really would consider this a mandatory GM's ressource. It is so good, that I personally consider it the number 1 "DMG" for Pathfinder! (I almost wish that Paizo got to publish it as an "Gamemastery Guide 2", so that more people would get it!)

TLDR: Get it if you are a Pathfinder/D&D/any fantasy RPG GM! You won't regret it, I am sure!!

PS: I can also REALLY recommend that you look at the Wilderness Dressing book and Scions of Evil (superb NPC collection), also from Raging Swan Press.


An excellent resource for avoiding "samey" dungeons


For full disclosure, I did receive a digital copy of this product, though I am contemplating buying a print copy, as it is quite good.

Now, I have already reviewed the "GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing" product, and was quite impressed with that. I am equally impressed with this product, given that it is up to the same standards. I have not been able to pour through it, but I have the same glaring eye that most role players have towards grammar, and have yet to find an error. Moreover, this resource is packed to the gills with various resources that not only spruce up a dungeon, but keep players on their toes.

There are obvious dungeon staples such as trapped doors and diabolical devices that threaten to harm players. Of there there are plenty of top notch traps made to harry your players. But of further intrigue are the various tables to add devilish details to any dungeon. These details, or the dressing, beg the players, and perhaps even the game master to ask more questions. Why did someone leave macabre objects at the entrance to the dungeon? What does the dungeon's name mean?

These are all excellent hooks that may convince the players that there is added depth to the dungeon's purpose, and with some luck and a few percentile rolls, that will be true! I not only read through the book, but I was able to employ it in my current game, and it worked wonders! It really does do wonders for describing something more elaborate than a 20x20 ft stone room with no features, and in no time at all.

If I had one complaint about the book, it being a compilation and all, is that it did not somehow include a section on rooms. Granted, there were plenty of things that comprised rooms, ranging from floors, ceilings, altars, doors, archways, ceilings, captives, etc... but nothing to address a room unto itself. I understand that the point of the book is to add to a room through its component pieces. On the other hand, I would rather like a few tables for simple rooms that are themselves noteworthy not because of their walls or ceilings, but something that comprises the room itself. As an example, a room made of ice that refuses to melt, and so on. If Raging Swan were to do such a supplement, I think that I would be first in line for its purchase, especially given the quality of the product at hand.

Outside of the actual dressing, there are a number of impressive and useful tables and rules that do wonders for planning and running dungeons. Pre-generated treasure hoards are a life saver, and while such a thing is common on the internet, it is nice to have them included in this product. The riddles were amusing, and though I have yet to use any, I am eager to do so.

I also was very fond of the dungeon design section. Much of it was simply sound advice, though not as useful perhaps for veteran game masters. Despite that, I think all of the information on dungeon design and ecology were things that needed to be said, and not everyone is privy to the idea that a dungeon that makes sense is typically better than one that does not.

In closing, I was especially pleased by "GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing". I heartily endorse it, and my only complaint is that I want more of it.


Great Resource, great inspiration

*****

I like others received a full copy for an honest review, I think it is a great resource for both new GMs and experienced ones alike. I thought the tables were great because sometimes you get in a rut designing new dungeons and just a simple roll can get you out of that and thinking a new way. Sometimes answering what the walls look like for the 15th time that night you can have a new response.

If I had known about it before I was offered it I would have gladly purchased it. In fact I enjoy it so much I am considering having it printed myself so that I can have when I design dungeons as I still prefer to draw them by hand. The section on dungeon designing was very much needed as when I started 20 years ago, we did not think about the realities of how did monsters get there, we just created a dungeon and filled it with things to go boo. Now with this you think more about the ecology of how monsters and that river got there.

If you ever agonize about what to make the 5th room look like, or create a dungeon at the 11th hour pick this book up. If sometimes you need inspiration, pick this book up, I saw no cons with this book and have thoroughly enjoyed using this resource.


Must have for DM's

*****

This massive tome contains over three hundred pages of content. Endzeitgeist's review is fairly comprehensive. However, I'd like to add my own input on this pdf.

I generally DM online and find detailed, complex descriptions to help set scenes very well. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how exactly you are to create those scenes...this book definitely helps in many respects. The first chapter is on Dungeon Design and is, in my opinion, the most useful chapter for immediate use. Many of the other chapters are best for references rather than reading through for general ideas. This chapter contains numerous questions designed to prompt your GM imagination. It helps with both the theme of the dungeon and creating the actual map for it. Making a maze with a series of rooms and monsters who don't interact with one another or have no purpose of being there other than to fight the PC's is NOT what this book is about. Its about crafting a piece of beauty, a dungeon that makes sense. How do the denizens access different areas? Where do they gain food and water from? How do they interact with one another? It has many questions and advice on all of these. It contains advice that I would love to read in a DMG.

The second chapter, Dungeon Dressing, is the core of the book. While the first has design principles and some very good advice, this is the chapter where you'll find the description and crunch all Dm's crave. There are three main parts of this chapter: random tables for description, miscellaneous crunch and traps. I find the random tables intriguing not for the randomness, which doesn't fit how I tend to run a game, but for the in-depth details and the way it inspires further thought and imagination. When the players enter an important room, what is in it? How does the archway look? What sort of doors does it contain? What are the light sources like? This section has a lot of really fun ideas and I love the pre-set traps for use. The core Pathfinder game has few traps and most are simply damage. This, instead, provides things that could make an encounter more interesting. For example, the adhesive door handle on page 80. A low CR trap that simply gets a victim stuck to the door handle. By itself, its not that impressive-requiring a DC 15 strength check. However, combine it with a sudden encounter and you have a good fight on your hands.

Deeper into this chapter you discover more percentile lists of random graffiti along the walls, tapestry descriptions and more. When I first read through these sections, I was overwhelmed with the amount of content. It really can't be stressed enough simply how much there is to use. If you like to make dungeons, even if they are smaller, mini-dungeons of only 6-7 encounters, this is a perfect companion book. There are so many traps within that make use of tapestries, walls, doorways, fountains, piles of corpses and more!

The third chapter delves into riddles. It contains numerous examples of riddles which are thematic to a fantasy setting. While the internet is filled with simple riddles, sometimes it can be hard to find thematic fantasy-themed riddles. This is probably my least favorite chapter simply because riddles are difficult to use. They challenge the player rather than the PC. The chapter does address this in a small blurb, providing some ideas for interesting ways around a riddle other than a simple intelligence check. I do wish they had gone into more depth about these ideas though.

The final chapter is on Treasure Hoards. Everyone loves treasure. Dms love giving it out. Players love getting it. Whether its a pile of gold or actual magic items, all of it can be interesting. As a player, I prefer interesting items to simple piles of gold—although I prefer the actual sale part to occur off-screen. Producing appropriate amounts of treasure that contains various items can be time-intensive. As such, this is one of my favorite parts of the book. It provides a random table for the treasure as well as a listing of how much each hoard costs. Treasure hoards are also divided up by level. If you have a level 4 party, you can easily look up the level four list, roll a D12 and give the players something interesting to find. As an aside, I love that these use D12's over D20's. The d12 doesn't get enough love.

Summary: GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing was of a superb quality in fluff and crunch. I've made extensive use of it for the two dungeons I've crafted since obtaining it and its made me add the urban Dressing book to my wish list as well as many of my games take place within a city. I highly recommend this entire series of books based off of this example.


A must-have for flavorful and evocative dungeons

*****

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and informative review.

At $19.99 for the pdf, this book may have a high asking price, but if you run games that venture into dungeons from time to time, it will be worth it. Just take a look at the product description, and see what you're getting here. Now consider this: every one of those headings, from doors to ceilings to trap doors to walls, has more information than you can shake a stick at. All the handy bits of information you may not be able to keep in your head (such as break DCs, hardness, and the DC of acrobatics checks to jump on an altar), two tables of dressing and features, and traps. Glorious, glorious traps!

Crushing ceiling trap? It's here. Illusory sarcophagus trap? Yep, that's here too. A portcullis with a banshee bound inside it? You better believe it's here!

Ever wanted to know what the goblin had in his pockets? Players asking what the ceiling looks like? Considering foreshadowing a trap or hazard with a doom panting? Looking for some prisoners to throw in, ready to be rescued? How about enough riddles to outwit a sphinx? Or some legends for the loose-lipped barkeep to tell, which may or may not be true? If you're feeling particularly creative, you may even find plot hooks - exactly why did the dungeon owner purchase this painting for over ten times its value?

All this glorious goodness is sandwiched between a chapter on dungeon design, and over two hundred treasure hoards of 1st to 20th level. These hoards are a real gem, too - full of quirky items, such as thousands of silver coins stored in woolen socks; an entire galley; a stool made of scrimshawed wyvern bones; even a gilded iron maiden - as well as enough jewellery and gems and coins to choke a dragon!

If you're a GM, pick this up. If you're a player, pick this up for your GM. It'll be well worth it!


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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

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


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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.


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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

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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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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

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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