Review – Between Dungeons Handbook

The Between Dungeons Handbook is a supplement by Cawood Publishing.

This supplement is a 97 page toolbox for the Dungeon Master. In particular, it can be used to enrich the moments the characters spend between their adventures.

The Content

The first activity the supplement covers is travel. There’s information about travel pace, activities while travelling, and travel costs. Also, there’s an extensive list of mounts and vehicles. Finally, there’s an interesting table about horses. For each horse in the table you can find its name, color, size, and a trait. An example of a trait is that a horse may like music or it really likes food. To be honest, I’m not sure how often this detail can come up, but you never know. Perhaps a small sidequest could be created using the trait of one of the party’s horses.

After that we get 8 tables, all numbered from 0 to 100, that contain random events, betweenDungeonsHandbooklandmarks, festivals, and carousing consequences. The carousing table can be used on the spot, while the festivals table should probably used during prep in order to give you ideas. The random events and the landmarks table can be used both ways, depending on the DM’s ability to improvise. There is a great variety of events in the tables. Some of them seem pretty simple, while others may surprise both the DM and the players.

The next set of tables is about NPCs and road encounters. There are a few tables that provide ideas in order to create less monotonous NPCs. A handy set of tables provides stats for NPCs, including background, race, gender, class, and alignment. These two sets pretty much provide you NPCs on the fly by rolling a d100.

As for random encounters, there’s only one table, numbered from 0 to 100. This plus the fact that some numbers correspond to the same monster, means that there’s not a great variety of monsters. However, I believe this happens because this table is not meant to provide creatures for encounters in specific environments. The creatures that are found in it can be used almost anywhere the characters may travel.

The next two chapters are, in my opinion, what adds the real value to this product. There is a chapter that contains more than thirty stores, ready to be put anywhere you want. They are divided in groups based on what they sell, and each one has its small description, a list of its staff, what its usual customers are, and a list of what’s in stock.

The last chapter of the supplement contains tables with various taverns and inns and various menus and drinks. For each inn and tavern there’s a name, its quality, prices, and its staff. There are 13 tables, each one containing seven inns or taverns, and the menus and drinks take up two full pages. It’s definitely going to take you some time to use them all in your games.

The stores, the taverns and the inns can be used on the fly but also could be used when creating a city. I believe this level of detail is worth it. If you didn’t want to put effort into creating all that, you now have ready content. You also now have a template in order to create more.

The Art

The cover art is really beautiful. Inside the supplement you will also find a few pieces of art that are used to separate the chapters. Most of them are simple but there are a couple of them that are really good.

Final Words

There are DMs and groups that handwave activities like travel, rest, and shopping. This supplement isn’t addressed to them. However, if you like using this kind of detail in your campaigns, then the Between Dungeons Handbook is for you and I suggest giving it a look.

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