Hey Game Fans, we’re finally back with our Mystery Box Friday feature. Today we’ve got three (Three!) products to take a look at. First we’re going to take a look at two sets of charts from our friends over at Dwarves in a Trenchcoat, and then we’re going to take a look at a sourcebook by Sean McGovern over at Power Score RPG. Let’s take a look at all of these and see what sort of mischief we can come up with.
Bags of Flavour: Bottles and More and Books and More
From our Friends at Dwarves in a Trenchcoat, the Bags of Flavour documents are random generators for a specific topic, in one case bottles, flasks and other liquid containers, and in the second one we have to look at, Books, scrolls and tomes. These are easy to use procedural generators for adding interesting setting elements and dungeon dressing to games you’re prepping. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using them on the fly because some of the text can be wordier than you may be expecting, and reading the description as the dice bring them to life can be tongue twisting. I love the idea behind these supplements.
I have moments where i blank completely on what i’m writing and describing a dungeon is one of the areas that i struggle with. Being able to generate points of interest and notable features is a boon to me. Let’s take a look at how the process works for books and more and then we’ll talk about where you can find these supplements.
So grab a D10 and some scratch paper to take notes.
We roll our D10 and come up with a 7. This let’s us know that the object we’ve found/placed/are keying up is a scroll. We flip to the scroll chart and roll another D10. This gives us a result of 5 which gives us a specific description of the item (in this case it’s a six pack of scrolls that form a singular, coherent text when read together), a weight, and a relative value. Items are weighted from lowest value to highest and dice correspond. Rolling a 1 for example is a lower value item while a 10 is often a magical device or something of incredible value. The charts are very straightforward and easy to read, and i am looking forward to seeing more of these from Dwarves in a Trenchcoat. As a bonus, each supplement has an adventure hook generator in the back tied at least tangentially to the items described inside (I’m a personal fan of the knight bearing the sigil of the Ink and quill who’s looking for a fight).
You can find Bottles and More at DrivethruRPG Here and you can find Books and More Here. They are both a buck, and i think they can add some value to your game environment.
These are good supplements for the price point and you can have a lot of fun enhancing your game prep and live play with these supplements. They can be a little tricky to implement on the fly because of what can fall out of the charts, but i definitely give them Ace ratings for prepwork. I’d love to see some more of these covering other aspects of things in fantasy gaming.
Emirikol’s Guide To Devils
The second product we’re going to take a look at Emirkol’s Guide to Devil’s from Sean McGovern published under his Power Score RPG brand. This one’s a heavy hitter of a book, rolling in at 246 pages of material. Let’s dig into it a little deeper and see what information we can pull out of this weighty tome. This is a comprehensive guide to monsters with the Devil type for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. It features a top to bottom look at the monsters in the Monster Manual, other devils from previous sources and a look at the best ways to include these monsters in your adventures and campaigns.
Chapter 1 features a complete breakdown on this origins of Devils, their major historical events, as well as more pertinent societal roles and expectations of Devils. Also featured are common traits, abilities and powers of Devils. This is an excellent starting point on what sorts of devils you can encounter.
Chapter 2 provides a new race, new backgrounds and new archetypes as well as a new faction for characters to join. There are some interesting options in here that you can use to expand your character options. It’s a very handy chapter for players gearing up for a devil centric campaign, though i think you can apply most of the material to a more generic campaign as well.
Chapter 3 breaks down specific types of devils (some officially printed in 5th edition sources, some not) and gives you a ton of information on these specific types of fiends and how to utilize them in plots, plans and adventures. If you’re putting together an adventure featuring a specific plot, you can probably find the Devil you’re looking for in this section.
Chapter 4 looks at the Arch-Devil rulers of the nine layers of Hell and details origins, theories and usages for them in your campaign. This level of detail is amazing and you can find several ways to utilize each of the Arch-Devils in your game. If you’re going to plan a long campaign, and are looking for a finale, there are several choices here that you may find appealing.
Chapter 5 looks at the “geography” of the Nine Hells and showcases each layer, the defining characteristics and some other pertinent data about each layer. Major locations are described in detail and if you are looking for a place to set adventures in the Nine Hells, you have a ready made resource in this chapter.
Chapter 6 features new monsters for your game. As you’d expect, Devils are the star attraction of this chapter but there are some notable inclusions from other creature types (notably the Angel of Love, and the Seraphic Golem). Many of the Devils featured in other sections of this book are statted out here, so you have the statistics you need to put trouble together.
Chapter 7 features adventure ideas and plot seeds keyed to the material presented elsewhere in the book. I especially like that the author has taken the time to put in material for including Devils in low level games. There is a lot of potential in this chapter and i am fan of these ideas. You could build several campaigns off of this material.
Appendix A features magical items of a devilish nature. These items range in power and rarity and add a host of interesting potential upgrades for characters. I would keep in mind that most items that start in the hands of NPCs end up in the hands of PCs through the natural process of kicking in doors and taking stuff.
Appendix B features NPCs that fit into Devil centric campaigns. There are 5 NPCs that can be encountered in a variety of interesting locations and options. Each one can fill a specific niche in your campaign, you just need to figure out what that exact niche is.
Appendix C features a new magic, Hellfire. It also features a couple of spells that utilize Hellfire and the creation process for a magic Wand.
Appendix D features the game stats for the Arch-Devils. If you’re planning a grand finale, here are the main event contenders statted out for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons.
This book is a definitive work on the nature and usage of Devils in 5th edition. If i wanted to look up a specific Arch-Devil or a region of the 9 Hells, this is the first place i’d look. There isn’t a better resource that i have found for putting together a Devil focused campaign. You could create hundreds of campaigns with the supplemental information provided in this text.
The upside of a book like this is that it provides a lot of value and detail that you can add to your campaign or adventure. It also gives you interesting options and ways to sprinkle additional Devil centric information into an adventure that ordinarily wouldn’t feature them. Spooky cultists worshipping something creepy at night? You can add an appropriate symbol to an Arch-Devil. Something picking off specific targets in a major city? Which Assassin Devil has been put on the job? There are myriad ways to incorporate this material into your game, and it’s up to you to decide how much or how little you want to pick up.
You can find Emirikol’s Guide to Devils at DM’s Guild Here. It’s a $15.00 purchase, but with the amount of information presented, it’s a wonderful resource for examining the Devils of Dungeons and Dragons and finding new and creative ways to incorporate them into your game.
It’s a fantastic sourcebook for putting together an encounter/adventure/campaign focusing on the Devils and the Nine Hells they call home. It’s full of vibrant art, detailed descriptions and usable resources for expanding your game. Ace rating all the way around, and i hope this author puts together a similar book for the Demons of the Abyss.
Those are the three supplements we’ve put together for the Mystery Box for today. We give both of these products high marks, and look forward to more work from these authors in the future. If you’re looking for more of their work, both are listed in our cool blogs list over here on the right side of the blog. I encourage you all to check them out, and if you’re interested in any of these books, you can find them at the links listed above. Game On, Game Fans