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    Ruster's Blood $2.99
    Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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    Ruster\'s Blood
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    Ruster's Blood
    Publisher: gannet games
    by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 03/18/2013 15:05:32

    Ruster's Blood is a 54 page pdf adventure for the Pathfinder RPG suitable for characters of 4th level. The adventure is entirely location-based, meaning it can easily slot into any specific campaign setting. The product is neatly presented and well organised, with some excellent and detailed maps. The product is strangely devoid of any art, and even the cover doesn't feature anything specific. Nevertheless, the overall impression is one of professionalism and dedication to delivering a good product.

    In this adventure the characters are approached by a miner who enlists their aid in assisting him rescue his co-workers and recover his mine, after it was attacked by some unknown assailants. The adventure takes place in the mine itself and the region directly surrounding the mind, and will take the characters on a wild ride through the mine and into it's deepest and darkest depths. The characters will face multiple threats once they reach the mine, not only from the those involved in the initial attack, but also from new inhabitants that have since claimed the mine as their own. The characters will need all their wits about them if they're to break into the mine, vanquish the initial foes, and then plumb the depths of the mine to get to the bottom of the who the mysterious attackers are.

    I found this to be a fun adventure, with plenty of opportunity for tactics, strategy and roleplaying. This isn't an adventure for the faint-hearted, as the combat encounters can be quite tough and often deadly. In a way that's one of my few complaints against this product - due to the difficulty of some of the foes, the party will experience a case of fighting one battle, retreating for the day, and then repeating the same thing the next day. I would've preferred to see a more dynamic approach, particularly on the deeper foes of the mine. I think the initial breaking into the mine should be a fun challenge, although I would imagine that some parties would find it frustrating. The adventure itself could've done better to cater for different eventualities, again more specifically with reference to the final foes of the adventure. Here it could've explored peaceful solutions, or alternative offerings as a way of concluding the adventure.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the creatures and characters of this adventure, and I think they make an interesting and eclectic challenge. I would've liked to see more motivations and personality here and there, but by and large there's a lot to go on. This adventure has a lot of potential, and creative DMs can develop it further or expand the adventure with tie-ins to future adventures. The location of the mine is well detailed and interesting, and is realistically presented with some good attention to detail of mining terrain, activity and difficulties.

    Overall, I think this is a strong adventure. Characters will have some fun, particularly if the DM can develop the action a little more dynamically than the adventure currently explores. It would've been nice to see more attention to roleplaying as a solution to certain scenarios, and perhaps negotiation as a means of solving problems. Still, it's a well presented product with good attention to detail, strong writing, challenging encounters and lots of interesting new creatures and magic. Good adventure.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    Thank you for reviewing my product! It is much appreciated.
    Ruster's Blood
    Publisher: gannet games
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 02/12/2013 08:11:08

    This is a well-constructed adventure for low-level but experienced characters (around 4th level), which melds a classic 'dungeon crawl' with a good backstory and plenty of misdirection as to what is really going on down there. It is written so that you can drop it in to your own campaign world with little more effort than finding a suitable location, and yet will contribute to the ongoing development of that world thereafter.

    The product opens with a detailed exposition as to what is really going on before covering the likely course of the adventure itself. The introduction for the characters is well-described and makes the classic 'someone approaches you in an inn' not sound completely clichéd: a very worried mine owner needs help, he thinks claim-jumpers or bandits have taken over his mine and some of his workers - and his brother - are trapped down there. It's a few miles out of town, but can they help...?

    Every stage of the journey to the mine and then what happens in its depths has been detailed clearly, with plenty of options to enable the GM to cope with just about anything that the players might choose to do. Stat blocks are just where you need them with additional bits like good thumbnail descriptions to read out and notes on how each being encountered is likely to react - not just in combat, but should characters try to talk instead. Too many adventures assume you'll fight all the time, it makes a nice change! Naturally, some of the current inhabitants of the mine will attack first, given the opportunity - but in places when it's appropriate you get two responses for the same individual: one if they know the party's there and one if they are surprised by the party.

    The potential to succeed, if not to find out abosolutely everything that's going on, is there but things could go horribly wrong. Some notes are provided about how to help the party out if needs be, and on likely outcomes of the adventure. Some may lead to further exploits, but on the whole it is quite self-contained.

    A rather neat new sorcerer bloodline (which I won't tell you about as it might spoil the surprise of what's down there!) and some associated spells are given at the end. There are also a few useful new magic items, especially if you're interested in mining. Maps are clear and simple to understand.

    Overall this is a very good adventure. I just wish I hadn't read it... I suppose I'd better round up some players and GM it instead.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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