DMs Guild Review – Fantastic Terrain 2

Another 50 supernatural terrain, areas, and effects.

A review copy of “Fantastic Terrain 2” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Crit Academy (Justin Handlin), with Alex ClippingerJean LorberDaniel XavierChris Karelis

Fantastic Terrain 2 is the sequel to last year’s Fantastic Terrain, which already added over 50 environmental hazards and effects. Somehow the sequel finds 50 more “wondrous sources of energy,” which can include anything from mudslides and kelp mats, to portals, statues, and elemental gems.

When you think of unique environments, you may recall the Supernatural Regions from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Unlike those potentially large zones with d100 tables of effects, the areas in Fantastic Terrain 2 are more along the size of a single dungeon, trap, or interactive room, and focus purely on mechanics.

There are plenty of creative, neat ideas to be found within these pages. The Desert of Echoes deals thunder damage to anyone whispering, speaking, or making noise (such as the clashing of swords), forcing players to come up with creative solutions to communicate.

The Rewind Grove provides a shock to any forest excursion, as exploding trees infused with temporal magic damage anyone around them, then reform, possible trapping victims inside. A roiling pile of worms can inflict the wormtorrent disease, causing the victim to vomit up a swarm of insects (worms). The Springing Sands can turn any mundane encounter into a sudden bounce house of hilarious chaos.

Others are not so clever. The Sentient Mist is just a pain in the ass fog cloud that can follow the players around, occasionally causing exhaustion on a failed CON save. The Spellgorging Plants forces all spellcasters to make an ability check, or waste the spell. Swamp Moss is just a sticky swamp, and Reflective Snow is snow that’s so bright, ya gotta wear shades (er, causes blindness and exhaustion).

desert of echoes

Not tall of the fantastic terrain is detrimental. Angelsong Hills are infused with holy, radiant energy, granting an extra use of Channel Divinity for Clerics and Paladins, and doubling the effects of healing spells and abilities. The Astral Flame grants players a chance to give their weapons a temporary +3 attack bonus, or suffer a level of exhaustion if they fail the CON save. A pool of Divine Blood can cast Greater Restoration, and provide a random buff with Enhance Ability.

“Terrain” may be a bit of a misnomer, as some of these aren’t even terrain at all, but magical objects, such as the wild magic-surging Energy Crystals, the teleporting Erratic Portal, the radiant-enhancing Orb of Righteousness, the ghost-summoning Book of the Soul’s Knowledge, and the spiritual weapon-granting statue that is the King’s Champion.

Although each entry includes usage notes on using them, I wish these sections were more detailed, and perhaps included example encounters to get the most out of each area. For example, monsters that make no noise, such as ghosts, would fit wonderfully in the Desert of Echoes. There’s also a weird tonal shift, as the writer adopts a more conversational and critiquing attitude that fit more comfortably in a sidebar of flavor text.

Speaking of which, Fantastic Terrain 2 lacks one of my favorite elements of the original Fantastic Terrain, the hand-written notes by other adventurers as they warn, complain, and make jokes about these areas. As a result, the sequel loses a bit of its charm and personality.

 Pros:

  • 50 supernatural areas, objects, or traps.
  • Every zone includes usage notes for tips on how to use them.

Cons:

  • More quantity over quality; would prefer fewer but more detailed regions and objects, including sample encounters and sensory effects.

The Verdict: Though it lacks the personal charm of the original, Fantastic Terrain 2 provides even more supernatural areas and effects to heighten your regions and encounters.

A review copy of “Fantastic Terrain 2” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s