Review: Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins

AD_Mystic-Ruins_2201Alternate 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.

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