A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Ancient Tombs

Ancient Tombs by Alex Riggs, Anthony Adam, Jason Nelson and Loren Sieg is a role playing game supplement published by Legendary Games for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License with some parts being considered Open Game Content as a result. This supplement is part of Legendary Games’ Adventure Path Plug-Ins range, which are intended to add extra content to Paizo‘s official Adventure Paths. This one is aimed at the Egyptian-themed Mummy’s Mask Adventure Path, #79 to #84. It provides content related to tombs.

This supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow for $6.99, as a softcover colour print on demand book for $12.99, as the PDF and book for $16.54 and as a printed book from Amazon. The PDF is the version reviewed although it was purchased at the reduced price of $4.82.

Ancient TombsThe PDF has 38 pages of which two pages are the front and rear covers, two pages are the front matter, one page is the Open Gaming License, one page the Table of Contents and list of abbreviations for various referenced official Pathfinder books, one page is essentially an introduction and there are two pages of ads.

What You Will Find Inside Ancient Tombs is a single page giving an overview of the contents.

Ancient Tombs considers real world tombs, giving examples of different types through history and in different countries. There is also a section of further sources of inspiration which is filled with web links to sites on actual real life tombs.

Tomb Dressing Tables is a collection of seven different d20 tables. The tables have a space for a GM’s number and provide details such as ruined value, pristine value, weight and what the item is. The tables are complemented by complete descriptions of the various items. Each table is aimed at a different type of tomb occupant.

Tomb Hazards provides various different hazards to encounter. Six of these are traps and one is a haunt.

Tomb Guardians goes to the monsters that could be found in a tomb protecting it from looters (i.e., players). This starts with a Grave Warden template. This can be added to other creatures, and essentially turns a regular creature into a type of construct.

Graven Guardians are actual constructs, animated statues that protect tombs. There are stats for the Mythic Graven Guardian, the various guardian domains and what powers these give, and four specific guardians based on Egyptian gods. Finally in this section is another template, that of the mummified zombie.

Tomb Spells and Feats starts with five new feats related to tombs and deserts. Finally there are seven new spells, all pretty powerful in nature – one is ninth and of the others, only one is below level 5, and that’s level four for one specific class; for all the other classes it’s a level five spell.

Ancient Tombs in Review

The PDF is reasonably bookmarked with the most major sections linked, although it could have been improved by linking the various minor sections, such as specific spells, hazards and creatures. The Table of Contents is at the same level. Navigation is therefore okay but it could have been a lot better.

The text, outside of the introductory pieces, maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. There are a number of links in the text to other sites providing more details. The layout is full colour Egyptian-themed and there are many full colour illustrations, up to a full page in size. Presentation is therefore well above average.

The supplement may be specifically aimed at the Mummy’s Mask adventure path, but it can very easily be used for other Egyptian-themed settings. No material would need changing for such. Some of the material can also be used for other types of tombs, perhaps with a bit of tweaking to make it more thematically appropriate (Celtic tombs are unlikely to have much of a desert focus).

The introductory segment on real tombs is interesting, as this can be one area where reality does overlap fairly strongly with role playing games. Tombs have existed for a long time, some of them are pretty big, and traps are not unknown.

The supplement contains a nice collection of diversified material that can be used to flesh out and enhance a tomb. There are some thematically appropriate Egyptian traps, some appropriate dressing which shows the authors spent at least some time researching it and some rather nasty spells. Ancient Tombs is a great addition to Mummy’s Mask or any other Egyptian-themed setting and can be found by clicking here.

 

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