Do you like random charts? Do you like Mork Borg style layout? Then these are the books for you. I recently was sent a copy of Axian Spice’s Lands of Legends – Mundane and Lands of Legends – Grim. Both books provide you with 100 random encounters (broken up into ten d10 charts) and 100 random area. The encounters and areas and reasonably generic to be used with most games, but the two different books add a bit of flavor. The Mundane book most likely has the most versatility as it could be used in almost any setting. The Grim book has a darker twist that might not be suitable to certain campaigns and fit others like a glove (I am looking at you Warhammer Fantasy). These encounters do not contain specific "monster" encounters or layouts to small dungeons. They are more like seeds for overall plotlines and interesting obstacles that the party must overcome. You will not find an entry like, "You run into D20 Kobolds hauling a chest." The entries are more unique and engaging.
The layout for these books has a large leaning into the style department. To me, it does really look like Mork Borg and that artistic outlook. Some people absolutely love that style some favor a cleaner layout like Old-School Essentials. Taste will vary on this issue. I find that it increases the experience of reading the entries and is part of the flavor of the text. While flipping through the PDF you get a sense for how the author wants you to feel about a certain section, with the layout.
I will admit, I am not the biggest on using random tables at my game on the fly. On occasion I use them in prep, but I mostly read through them for ideas and then use the ones I like. These books are chocked full of those. Here is an example from the chart labeled Grim Civilization. “NIGHTMARISH EXECUTION. A murderous witch is about to be burned in the main square. A crowd has gathered, as many blame her of all their ills. As soon as the flames touch her, the crone curses the city, laughing and prophesying the death of all those who have gathered within the next new moon. After that, her twisted body becomes a cloud of bats, flying towards the nearest dungeon or Grim area. In the following days, the authorities might hire adventurers to investigate.” This to me is a good plot device that can be used to kick off an adventure. This starts the wheels turning in my head as to what I can do with the witch, who is the witch, or who will come for revenge because of the witch.
Overall, I think these products are good and you can get some great inspiration from the entries. According to the author, these are the first two of a series of Lands of Legends. I cannot wait to see what comes from this company.
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