Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Alexander Augunas.

Not all dungeons feature the traditional setup of a monster-filled subterranean network of rooms and passages. Druidic groves, haunted houses, rank sewers and more can all serve as an exciting backdrop to the PCs’ adventures. Such locations present their own set of unique design challenges, though, for the time-crunched GM plotting the next adventure.

This instalment of Alternate Dungeons presents loads of great details, hints and tips for a GM designing an adventure set in a mystic ruin. Designed to save a GM’s time while adding flavoursome details to bring the locale alive in the player’s minds, Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins is an essential tool in any GM’s arsenal.

This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of Raging Swan Press' Alternate Dungeon-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So this time around, Alexander Augunas guides us through the process of making strange Mystic Ruins an alternate dungeon-area - but what exactly does that entail? Well, first of all, we receive what amounts to incremental degrees of 5 (anti-) magic levels -from dead to wild magic to ruins that enhance certain types of magic, these modifications instantly change the dynamics of your dungeon-ruins - pretty cool! But beyond magic levels, we also receive effects that see locomotive modifications become unstable, hypnotic sounds and yes, grasping vines.

The general suggested features provided, including dizzying haze, multi-level design that allows for the scouting (and potentially skipping) between vertically aligned levels and mutagenic properties (in the form of a simple penalty, but you can always make that one more complex) -these make for interesting and unique modification-suggestions.

So far, so good - what about sacking the place? Well, from living steel t power cmponents and alchemical and arcane reagents, we receive a bunch of cool, thematically-fitting loot suggestions, some even with nice in-game bonuses.

Dressing of the ruins is also provided for, with considerations of different sample functions and the harvesting of dressings-section features some nice scaling suggestions of the modifications provided. The pdf does include a massive table with 37 entries (plus toll twice/thrice) - and once again, the table is pretty damn glorious: What about having everything in the ruins slowly shrink? A nice coat of nasty mold or slime? Nascent magical auras? Or the fact that unattended woo immediately bursts into flames? A couple of the entries here are downright inspired and should suffice to create a ruin that has its function and history develop organically from its dressing outwards - and if this table does not suffice, just add wilderness/dungeon dressing and you're good to go!

The next page would be devoted to suggested monsters to encounter within the ruins and while useful for novice DMs, so far in every installment of the series this chapter has tended to bore me, the selection this time around is more interesting and diverse, so kudos! Speaking of kudos - I love what follows next - from mundane collapses and hazards to magical ones and even planar thinning with chaotic surges from limbo/maelstrom, this chapter really is nice and a great cheat sheet to make exploration more memorable.

Speaking of prior issues of the series - whereas so far the adventure hooks were functional, but not particularly inspired, we may not receive less, only 2, but the two that we get actually are pretty awesome -from leaks in the planar fabric to goblinifying devices, the hooks are inspired and cool - two thumbs up!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, but not as flawless as I've come to expect from Raging Swan Press. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks as well as fully bookmarked. Additionally, you receive two versions, one optimized for screen-use, one optimized for the printer.

Alexander Augunas' latest Alternate Dungeon-installment is inspired in all the right places. When I read "Mystic Ruins", I was expecting a generic train-ride of blandness and "been there, done that"- tricks. Well, I am happy to report that even experienced DMs can find quite a bunch of cool stuff herein! Best of all, while generic enough for newbie DMs to use, this still manages to maintain the balance between generic and specific, generating its very own identity. A fun, cool little pdf that should definitely help keep boredom away. Surprisingly fun and very inexpensive, this pdf is well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


A great set of tools to create an unusual dungeon

5/5

Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins from Raging Swan Press is a short PDF packed with a wealth of ideas for a GM who wants to run a slightly different dungeon.

As the name suggests, this product is aimed at game masters who want something out of the ordinary. The PDF starts with an overview of what mystic ruins might entail, and then gives practical advice on how to design the dungeon by listing various effects and dangers that could be present in a location that has been infused with ancient magic.

Next up is the 'dressing' section, with a table full of strange and idea-inspiring things to make your mystic ruins unique and interesting (not to mention dangerous!) There are also some suggestions on how to handle characters who want to harvest magical artifacts or spell components from the dungeon itself. I probably wouldn't have thought of something like that unless my players brought it up, so these kinds of guidelines are extremely helpful.

There are also a page listing a number of creatures that might be drawn to your magically-infused dungeon, and why they might be there. This is followed by a number of natural and magical traps or hazards that might be present in mystic ruins, as well as other strange magical effects that could occur in such a dungeon. Finally, there are a couple of adventure hooks for game masters to build upon.

The artwork complements the content nicely without taking up excessive space. As always, this product is laid out in Raging Swan's clean and easy to read format, and both a print and screen version are included. I can definitely recommend Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins to any GM who needs ideas on making that ancient wizard tower or other magical dungeon more interesting. Although the rules-related information that is given is Pathfinder-specific, I think most of the content could apply or be adapted to other games as well.


Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Is now available at the Paizo store!


Creighton!!! - in product title Alternate is spelled "Alternte"

Webstore Gninja Minion

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Creighton!!! - in product title Alternate is spelled "Alternte"

Fixed!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Creighton!!! - in product title Alternate is spelled "Alternte"

Thank you!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks very much for the great review, Triangular Room! Much appreciated!


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

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So clearly yesterday's article theme was, "Alexander Augunas," wasn't it Endzeitgeist? Not that I'm complaining in this case. ;-)


Jup, currently trying to get 2014 done and write my Top Ten and since you're currently running a KS, I figured I'll post reviews of your work. :)

Contributor

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Jup, currently trying to get 2014 done and write my Top Ten and since you're currently running a KS, I figured I'll post reviews of your work. :)

Considering that Age of Electrotech, Psychological Combat, and Leadership Handbook all appear on your List of Consideration for last year, one has to wonder what the chances are of me getting one of those coveted spots is. :-P

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks for the review, Endzeitgeist. It's much appreciated as always! I'm delighted you enjoyed the book!

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