This issue contains a motley collection of useful material for anyone interested in Dungeons & Dragons 3e, and indeed is intended to gather the best spells, characters and other ideas gathered on the publisher's website and present it in a readily-useable form.
It starts off with a spell called Studied Divination. Now, divination can be a bit of a pain to the DM, but this particular spell has a lot of potential. To start with, it's not a flash-bang spell, the caster has to dedicate a lot of time and study, and then what he gets for his effort is no more than vague hints and portents. True role-players might want to put in the time, or it could be used by an NPC diviner who gives - or sells - the insights he's gained to the character. It won't give you the winning lottery numbers either, but might give warning of crop failures or dragon incursions in the future.
Next is a collection of flavour-full characters, the sort that would make genuinely annoying NPCs to have hanging around somewhere the character frequent. One sings and struts his stuff and basically is a kind of mediaeval Elvis... with pointy ears. If the DM has ever fancied himself as an Elvis impersonator he has his opportunity here. There's also a mad monk, a druid with a water-mad wolf familiar, a street urchin who peddles his own brand of religion, a bard who likes to perform in a chicken suit, and a half-orc who enjoys starting brawls!
A magic item for teachers and shopkeepers and anyone else plagued by those darn kids follows, the Paddle of Punishment. Those inclined to more extreme bedroom sports might also find this of use...
Most folk find extreme cold enough of a hardship, but this issue's monster - a 40-ft glacial frost worm - will put the seal on things, particularly if you hear it emit its trill... which freezes you to the spot while it ambles up to have a snack!
The issue concludes with a description of a woodland hamlet, complete with a short encounter to run when the characters visit. Religious corruption in the depths of the forest await the unwary...
Overall, it's a neat collection and most people will find something that they can use.
Return to Claw/Claw/Bite! # 5, 2nd Printing page.
Reviewed: 15 March 2008