Wednesday, April 22, 2009

REVIEW: The Ruins of Ramat

The Ruins of Ramat is a fantasy adventure module, written by John Adams and Andy Taylor and published by Brave Halfling. It's available in two versions, one bearing the Labyrinth Lord logo and another bearing the Original Edition Adventures logo, meaning that it's intended for use with both Labyrinth Lord's Original Edition Characters
(which I reviewed here) and Swords & Wizardry (or any old school rules set really). This review concerns the latter version only, which I presume is identical to the straight LL version, although, not owning it, I cannot say for certain.

Written for characters level 1-2, module is a simple, straightforward adventure that involves the exploration of a 17-room ruined stronghold hidden beneath Witch Hill. As it turns out, these ruins were once held by a militant clerical sect dedicated to the god of light and righteousness, Ramat. They're also the final resting place for the Spear of Ramat, a minor artifact of the sect that a treacherous priest attempted to destroy by means of a magical portal that summoned undead, demons, and worse into the world. Though the Spear was saved, the faithful servants of Ramat were not so lucky.

Like most Brave Halfling products, The Ruins of Ramat is an unpretentious, "meat and potatoes" offering. In PDF form, it is 10 pages long, but in its printed form, those pages are folded into two in order to create a small booklet roughly the same size as the little brown OD&D books. The PDF sells for $3.50, while the printed version, which includes shipping, can be purchased for $5.00 (or $6.00 if you live outside North America). This gets you a fun little side adventure that's easily dropped into any campaign, as well as a map and stats for two new monsters (one being the huecuva first seen in the Fiend Folio).

One of the nice things about the adventure is that how easily it could serve as a child's introduction to fantasy roleplaying. As presented, the characters are asked by a little girl who's lost her dog to find him, after a clawed creature came up out of the ground of Witch Hill and snatched the canine. Melodramatic though it may be, it's precisely the kind of hook that would grab my nine year-old daughter and I can't imagine she's alone in that regard. In addition, the backstory about the clerics of Ramat, while useful in establishing a greater context to the ruins, isn't integral to running the adventure -- another plus if you just want to offer up a simple dungeon crawl to young players. That's not to say The Ruins of Ramat offers nothing for more experienced players, but I think the module shines brightest when viewed as an introductory one.

Presentation: 7 out of 10
Creativity: 6 out of 10
Utility: 6 out of 10

Buy This If: You're looking for a simple, straightforward introductory module
Don't Buy This If: You're looking for something more complex or already have more intro modules than you know what to do with

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, I might check this out myself, it's the kind of thing I could easily drop into the game I'm playing.