Saturday, April 7, 2012
Arcana Evolved - Ruins of Intrigue
I have written about Dragon Magazine #54 before. This may very well be one of if not my absolute favorite issue. I wrote previously that I have referred to it innumerable times in the past. One of the reasons is the article on city ruins. I am not sure why the idea of city ruins fascinate me so much. It might be from the first look at the Statue of Liberty covered in sand that sparked it and then it was fueled to its height by the cover of the original Gamma World box and the remains of DC in Logan's Run. I have designed a few ruined cities but have never been fully satisfied with what I designed.
I am afraid that this book though promising did not live up to what I had hoped it would be. Please don't take that as me saying the product is not a good product but it is still not what I want in a ruined fantasy city. I may have to some day take a great fantasy city and destroy it into ruins. If anyone knows of any good products with ruined cities I would love to hear about it.
Ruins of Intrigue is more of a framework that a pen to paper layout of a ruined city. It is a campaign or adventure setting more than an adventure proper. For what it is it is an excellent product and the premise answers one of my dilemmas concerning city ruins. It is hard to have a large city in ruins anywhere near civilization and if it is not near civilization how to get the players close enough without seeming contrived. What better than a city that was hidden in plan sight for centuries.
The book is well done and is missing the watermarked pages that in some cases make newer products hard to read test wise. As I have aged I would like to see a larger font used in some books and this could use a slightly larger one. The book is also a little text heavy and it might benefit from some more images breaking the text up though a larger font could reduce the need for that. The material more than makes up for the concerns over the formatting though. This book may not be for everyone and it is very much campaign specific so using it outside Arcana Evolved might pose a serious level of work but for ideas it is well worth it.
From the back:
"The ruins of Serathis loom high in the mountains. Only recently discovered, this ancient city draws many to its shattered streets in search of treasure and adventure. Giants and dragons square off on opposite sides of the ruins, each seeking to hold the city and its wealth. The winds of war howl in the distance. Vast wealth and terrible monsters await!
Ruins of Intrigue is an innovative approach to adventure creation. It provides a detailed, modular overview of Serathis. Major NPCs and locations have sets of optional secrets and variants, making every campaign different. A rich array of ideas, plots, and vying factions gives you varied ideas for creating adventures. Just pick a hook, choose a goal, select an obstacle, and you're ready to go. Suitable for Arcana Evolved characters of all levels."
Adventure and Intrigue in the World of the Diamond Throne!
The ruins of Serathis loom high in the mountains. Only recently uncovered, this ancient city draws hundreds to its shattered streets in search of treasure and adventure. Giants and dragons square off from opposite sides of the ruins. The winds of war howl in the distance. Vast wealth and terrible monsters await!
Ruins of Intrigue provides the foundation for an entire campaign using the Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved variant player's handbook. It presents Serathis, a ruined city located between territories claimed by the giants and dragons. Both factions seek to hold the city and its treasure, setting the stage for conflict. The book's adventure source material will take your characters to 10th level and beyond.
Ruins of Intrigue also contains new monsters, secret societies, organizations, and other material that reflects the city's ancient secrets. And its modular design allows all player levels and character affiliations to use this campaign-in-one-book.
This comprehensive look at an exciting new realm of adventure gives DMs the chance to start and run a campaign with ease and offers an characters the opportunity to play an important role in the Lands of the Diamond Throne.
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