The Slayer's Guide to Lizardfolk



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The Slayer's Guide to Lizardfolk

Author: Andrew Kenrick
Publisher: Mongoose Publishing
Publish Date: 2004
ISBN: 1-904577-83-0
Pages: 32
Rating: 2 out of 10
Retail Price: $9.95

 

Lizardfolk are most often used solely as a plot hook for low-level adventurers.The situation is almost always that a humanoid village is located near a lizardfolk swamp.The two races have generally had good relations in the past (with the unspoken understanding that they stay out of each other’s territory), but in recent months, the lizardfolk have taken to raiding farms, harassing travelers and generally making life miserable for the villagers, all with no explanation.The PCs are sent to deal with the problem, and they’ll either kill all the lizardfolk or more often, find something the villagers have accidentally done that is making life difficult for the lizardfolk.Yes, I think that pretty much sums up every lizardfolk encounter I’ve ever seen.

 

The problem I found with The Slayer’s Guide to Lizardfolk is that it doesn’t leave much room for variations on this theme.The Slayer’s Guide series is usually a good source of information for me.Even if a particular Slayer’s Guide isn’t very mechanically sound, it generally has enough background information on a race to get my creative juices flowing.The problem with this particular Slayer’s Guide is that it gives a very obvious definition of what a lizardfolk is and doesn’t deviate from this.This doesn’t leave much room for a DM to do anything with the race except use them as cannon fodder or plot hooks, which is what’s generally done even without That Slayer’s Guide to Lizardfolk.

 

The first two chapters (Physiology and Habitat) could have been written more efficiently with no real loss of information if the author had just said “Lizardfolk are reptiles that live in swamps and eat humans when they can.”The author attempted to include a system for dealing with cold-blooded creatures to justify the lizardfolks’ life near water.I support this, I think the D&D system could benefit from a system of warm blooded vs. cold blooded creatures.However, the system suggested by the author didn’t have much detail, and looked little more than a slap-on bandage system.

 

The Society chapter had some worthwhile ideas in it.The best of these ideas, I think, is that the survival of the tribe is more important to a lizardfolk than his own life, which does much to explain why they rarely retreat from a battle on their home turf.Another good idea in this chapter is that while lizardfolk live under a sort of tribal theocracy, clerics aren’t at the top of the food chain.Instead, druids run the show from behind a proverbial curtain, working towards the betterment of the tribe, even if that means staging a coup to overthrow an ineffective chief.

 

The next chapter, Methods of Warfare, was surprisingly disappointing, and gave no more information than someone reading the Monster Manual could glean.The chapter on roleplaying with lizardfolk was hit-and-miss.I liked the suggestions given for the PCs playing lizardfolk, though I don’t think they’d work out very well as long-term campaigns.I also liked the idea of the Stillguard prestige class, which allows a lizardfolk to camouflage itself by remaining perfectly still.It needs a bit of mechanical cleanup, but is a great idea.The other prestige class offered, the Scaled King, is a mechanical nightmare.It’s supposed to be an extension of the druid class, but as worded, its abilities don’t stack with those of a druid.

 

The plot hooks offered for including lizardfolk into a game were average, pretty much on par with what a decent DM could come up with on his own.Each Slayer’s Guide finishes with what it calls “a complete lair.”This one was far from complete.It wasn’t bad per se, but parts of it felt like they were tacked on.Worst of all, though, is that there’s no map.At all.None.Needless to say, this so-called complete lair would have read much better with an accompanying map.

 

Thus far, The Slayer’s Guide to Lizardfolk is one of my least favorite from the series.I can see that the author put some thought into how to write this book, but I feel that overall the book just didn’t deliver.There’s not much in this book that a half-way competent DM couldn’t come up with on his own.