Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vor Rukoth, a city fir for slaughtering, 5 Aug. 2010
This review is from: VOR Rukoth: An Ancient Ruins Adventure Site for D&D (4th Edition D&D) (Dungeons & Dragons) (Paperback)
Vor Rukoth, or `The City of Forges', is the now ruined city of the Tiefling empire Bael Turath. It lies in this state after the long and violent war against the Dragonborn of Arkhosia. Devils in disguise now lure hapless travellers, the lawless find refuge, and hardened adventurers tread lightly, lest they gain the attention of Vor Rukoths undead lord, Queen Najala. For it was her actions that summoned the diabolical hordes of the nine hells, unleashing them on Vor Rukoth, slaughtering citizen and invader alike.

Vor Rukoth: An Ancient Ruins Adventure Site cover art

Note, that as with Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost, there are no encounters here, and no pre made dungeons. What you get instead are details on the cities factions, from the idealistic `Scions of the Horned Empire', seeking to regain Bael Turath to its former glory all whilst redeeming their race. To the unimaginatively titled "Raven's Wings", a group worshiping the Raven Queen who have turned their attention to Vor Rukoth. These are presented with faction details, listing potential adventure hooks, their objectives, and detail notable NPC's, leaving you with a very handy "who's who" of Vor Rukoth.

Next up is Events, a relatively short passage detailing some clever ways to make use of Vor Rukoth's geography. A well placed flood or earthquake can make the city feel more alive whilst providing a challenge without a monster in sight.

The bulk of the text is of course the section on Locations. Mostly covering region areas, with a few notible buildings thrown in, the text is accompanied by a small colour map on the rear cover, and a slightly larger (A3) black and white map on the inside of the covering sleeve. The areas are sorted by region, again, these are detailed with their own, aver arching descriptive texts.
Again, the quality here is great, the descriptive text for any given region/area should easily allow you to quickly add flavour to the your scenes, and all the areas come with at least one adventure hook.

Finally, is a section on Najala's Gate. Or to give it its tourist name `The Black Heart of Vor Rukoth'. Hidden in a great cavern that radiates evil (don't they always?), the archway of which contains the soul of Najala herself. Some protect it to prevent others from overpowering Najala and literally opening the gates to hell, others welcome such an outcome. It is of course, as with all the material presented, up to you how you impliment it into your campaign, however Najala's Gate is an encounter (a stat block is presented) that should be used once the party is ready to move on. The tale of Najala is important the city, and snippets of information is provided throughout for you to discover.

What I'm struggling to convey, is that whilst this is a broken city, it's also one alive with the remains of its defenders. The Blood Grounds for example, once the commercial hub for Vor Rukoth, awash with the blood of the many who made the final stand against the infernal horde. Nobody survived to bury these people. The fell, they bled, they died. All of them, and it's not just bones and blood stains that are left. Necrotic energy, the howls of the fallen, and their (former) belongings, are all present here, ripe for exploring.

At £9.99RRP for 32 pages, it's all too easy to feel cheated, however the quality of the content is vastly superior to that found in say, Dungeon magazine. This is a complete city (well, ruined city), with all the appropriate nooks and crannies that make city based adventuring interesting. And in a world where we're not all oozing with creativity and inspiration, a helping hand like this can be welcomed.

This is the first such `Adventure Site' I've purchased, and I must say I'm rather pleased, though I am slightly disappointed that there are no unit tiles (akin to the starter set) to represent the kinds of big bad you're likely to use in such a setting. Just a single sheet would be ample, and saves using boiled sweets for mobs.
The double sided fold out map (26"x21") should prove to be useful. With one side featuring a once grand, hall, coplete with throne for a would be Lich Queen (I'm just saying), and the other a derelict street, with unsanitary fountain and dilapidated building to match.

All in all, a good buy, one I'll certainly be putting to use. The content is clear, well presented, and most importantly, invites you to make it your own.
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