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Need good ideas for dungeons? Give Fantastic Lairs a shot

Today I’m going to review a book I purchased two years ago and used a lot since then. I’m talking about Fantastic Lairs by M. Shea, S. Fitzgerald Gray and J. Introcaso.

Cover Art Copyright 2020 by James Introcaso, Michael E. Shea and Scott Fitzgerald Gray

Fantastic Lairs is a book about Boss Battles and, how the authors call it, “Climactic Encounters”. The Book contains 23 actual dungeons or lairs, which you can integrate into your campaign. Every dungeon has illustrated cover art, and most of them come with battle maps. At the end of a dungeon lurks most of the time a boss, which the party has to kill to get treasure. The bosses are very good designed, with adjustments to stat blocks of existing monsters, and a little background story and good described features. The lairs increase in level, and you can find one optimized for every party level. There are sometimes boxes that provide a little more detail or tips to the reader, which I found very helpful for dm’ing the lairs.

What I really love about this book is that you don’t need much time to integrate the encounters into your own campaign. You read through them for 10 to 20 minutes and then place them inside your campaign. You can use the book as is for that, the only thing required will be the monster manual. Most of the time i get inspired to do some changes to the dungeon, to make it fit my campaigns even more.

While I don’t think that there are boring entries in the book, I definitely have two highlights: One being an encounter where your party has to deal with a giant centipede worshipping cult (temple of the centipede cult), and the other one being Sticky Toffee, where the party runs into a witch lair disguised as candy shop.

You can get the book on, it costs about $30 for 145 pages. Worth your money if you like well designed dungeons and enemies.

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