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Green Water, Crimson Stag – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by Ryan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2022 14:27:47

This is a well-written, atmospheric adventure with lovely illustrations. The author clearly loves the gamebook genre and has given much time and thought to it, resulting in an excellent book that stands up to the classics. The adventure amply rewards risk but respects caution too, and gives the player good choices throughout. The simultaneously whimsical and menacing feel of sylvan faerie lore suffuses the pages and leaves a memorable imprint.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Green Water, Crimson Stag – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Catacombs of Dust – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2022 08:27:06

A Dragon Warriors dungeon crawl. Well crafted: the backstory is rich enough to be interesting without suffocating detail; varied encounters, some challenging combats, opportunities for intelligent play; the descriptions maintain a tense atmosphere; the dungeon reforms at various points in the adventure, which works well in the programmed paragraphs format; there are chances to settle for a lesser victory if struggling.

Your character is accompanied by the scholar Brother Cuthbert, who looks much like Derek Jacobi.

Accurately written, with working links. Two minor typos spotted: entry 119, 8 lines from end, "diverse" instead of "divers"; entry 130, penultimate sentence, "many" not "man".

In six (!) plays, two complete victories, and an escape.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Catacombs of Dust – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Ancient Silence – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2022 05:51:29

An experiment from this author, as the adventure uses one of two pregenerated characters and is in the style of Fighting Fantasy, with some obstacles only overcome via specific items you must find. It is a superior take on the genre, and skilfully weaves adventures which are suitable for the differing special abilities of a knight and a sorceror into the same tale. There is an innovative shared dream sequence. Better clued than many of this type, although some replays will be inevitable, and possible frustration when your character is in a failure state but play continues.

Accurate links and text. A minor error: misaligned 2 in the title of entry 244. Marley switches from woollen to oilskin trousers, although he may have changed clothes.

Recommended. (Would add a star for a fan of Fighting Fantasy books.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ancient Silence – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Catacombs of Dust – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2022 13:02:42

This solo adventure, which uses the Dragon Warriors rules and is set somewhere in the north of Ellesland, is essentially a large dungeon that you get to explore.

The setting is atmospheric and the sense of dread increasingly palpable but, unlike many ‘solo’ adventures, there are several different ways of completing the adventure with varying degrees of success (and several different ways to fail and die, of course). The adventure offers a glimpse into the ancient history of this part of Legend (and the author even uses the odd archaic title – like “ambactus” – to set the scene).

At 137 pages (including covers) and 280 encounters, this book ranks alongside others that you would usually pay for – yet Red Ruin offers it for FREE. Bargain!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Catacombs of Dust – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Ancient Silence – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2022 17:07:22

A good, well-written, interesting adventure. Worthy of 5 stars BUT...

I wonder if there's any thought been given to releasing a text-only version of this? AI has been used for the interior artwork and it is so bad it makes my eyes hurt. I certainly wouldn't want to waste my printer ink printing a hard copy of this.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ancient Silence – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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The Beast of the Black Tor – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2022 04:41:14

Solo adventure for an inexperienced character. An investigation phase followed by a decision on how best to defend the village of Brengate from the Beast. Fairly short, but with a variety of possible paths and endings. Intelligent play gets rewarded. Well (self-)illustrated.

A couple of possible structural improvements: (I) You might evacuate some villagers before the events of entry 49, which now need modification; (II) After evacuating the vulnerable, it makes sense to prepare those left fighting for battle.

A simple fix: End entry 10 with: Otherwise go to 23 to organise the fighters, or return to 110. Entry 110, amend third paragraph. ... Elder Wystan (turn to 72 if you have ticked the second box and want to tell him your plan),...

A more complicated rewriting (possibly with a codeword for the events of 49) could allow more combinations of actions.

Minor corrections: Entry 10 "Some of the women can fight". End entry 12 ... Brengate, turn to 17. Entry 33, second mini paragraph, clarification. ... to a minimum of 1 remaining.

Two wins and a losing retreat in play. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Beast of the Black Tor – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Scourge of the Shadows – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2022 06:09:34

Sandbox solo adventure in a region where the balance between good and evil forces can be tipped by PC actions. Very accurately constructed: all the links, codewords, and sequences given certain consitions (such as previous events) seem to work. A welcome feature is freedom of action as well as freedom of movement: you can support either side, and/or undertake minor quests as you see fit. It is important to map as items found in one location may unlock opportunities in others. Generally dynamic, with enough information readily available to keep play moving. Should provide multiple enjoyable plays.

There are a few mini dungeons to explore, and perhaps one of these could have more interesting structure (e.g. secret doors, use of depth/height). A minor error: no box to tick in entry 179 (although there is a box in the Tick List).

A strong product, worthy of study by aspiring writers of programmed solos wishing to avoid a railroad.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scourge of the Shadows – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your kind words and thanks for the entry 179 spot. We'll sort that when we do an update.
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Casket of Fays #6 – a Dragon Warriors RPG fanzine
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2022 18:50:20

Red Ruin keeps delivering ziney old school goodness! The 6th issue does not disappoint. The busy GM will thank the gods (old and new) when they read the wonderful adventure "over the gloaming moor". It is in fact more like a mini campaign setting with encounters and hooks a plenty to keep your low level characters entertained for many moons. I love me a good map and this one so beautifully captures to look of the original maps in the Dragon Warriors books that i had to do a double take to check I'd not seen it before. Another 5 star product and best of all - it won't cost you a single shiny shekel (or florin or matapan) ;-)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Casket of Fays #6 – a Dragon Warriors RPG fanzine
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Casket of Fays #6 – a Dragon Warriors RPG fanzine
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2022 17:21:30

I've never played Dragon Warrior, but I'm an old-school D&D GM, and I'm always on the lookout for new source material to keep things interesting. This issue of Casket of Fays did not disappoint. The title of the scenario, The Gloaming Moor made me reach for my dictionary, just to understand its meaning. But the rest of it was easily recognizable. Taking place in highland moors, it will fit right into my campaign with a little fettling. It has 3 different paths the party can take, so I see my players traveling thru this area on quests, multiple times, taking different routes with different encounters. My one complaint, and it's a minor one, is that I prefer hex maps for wilderness maps. But the map provided (twice - both in the 'zine and also as a separate PDF) is very well done. Since you're providing 2 maps, may I suggest you make one a player map, without the encounters enumerated?

The featured monster in this issue, the Gloomvile puts a new spin on daemons/undead. Not all are after your mortal soul, some are happy just for your company, to take your gold and maybe make your life unpleasant for a time. Another monster featured, the Mi’raj seems a little too much like the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, but it does make me think, "what would happen if there was a breeding pair?" It's enough to send chills down my spine.

Overall, it's an excellent 'zine and well worth the cover price. 4-1/2 STARS



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your kind review. I must confess that I hadn't considered a player facing map but that is a blooming good idea. I'll message Andy who wrote the Gloaming Moor and drew the map and see what he sez.
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Scourge of the Shadows – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2022 02:01:16

The solo OSR goodness just keeps coming from Red Ruin. This is their latest solo gamebook using the Dragon Warriors RPG rules by Dave Morris a d Oliver Johnson. Well written with evocative descriptions and a nice pace. At the princely sum of FREE you'd deserve a good scourging yourself if you miss this one. Five Stars!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scourge of the Shadows – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Creator Reply:
Thanks. Paul has outdone himself with this one. A tough bar to reach for his next work. He'll be up to it, mark my words.
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Desolation of the God-King – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2022 13:13:50

Classical Egyptian flavoured solo adventure, with the usual tropes: a riddle-asking sphinx, a trap-filled pyramid to navigate, hieroglyphics, mummy-like creatures to battle. General structure is linear with branches and loops; there is no need to visit every location, but some items are essential, others very useful, whilst other areas offer only woe. A number of tricky and exciting combats to fight, but some can be avoided; lots of material to play through; some replay value as there are alternative routes between fixed points/through obstacles, although the lack of a second (possibly lesser) winning ending does limit this. One nice touch is that descriptions are given from a medieval European point of view, but the reader knows better and will identify, for example, a camel or a sphinx.

Accurately written. Clear readable type. Adaptable to other systems (with a little work). Plays well with different characters types/professions, although they must be able combatants. Difficult enough that you are likely to fail in an initial play, but not so tough as to become frustrating.

One suggested improvement: in entry 24, as the character is beside a lake, delete references to empty waterskins.

In three playthroughs the Necrochor seemed to be the toughest (unavoidable) opponent. Success with wizards and assassins.

Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Desolation of the God-King – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Icon of Death – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2022 07:23:43

Fine attempt at a different sort of solo adventure: murder mystery. Whilst there are multiple routes to the final confrontation, inevitably replay value is limited by knowing the identity of the culprit. (There is still interest in seeking an optimal strategy.) However NPCs are well sketched, clues and red herrings are skilfully laid out, and there is opportunity for logical deducation (e.g. who has an alibi) and elimination of suspects. Little combat until the deadly (extended) finale; could be a relatively quick play (given its length). Accurately and well written; there is a growing air of menace as disappearances start and then bodies turn up.

Few errors: "doughty" not "doubty" in first sentence of entry 51; "committed" not "comitted", second paragraph p.49.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Icon of Death – A Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Plague of the Undead – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2022 14:07:32

Familiar themes, competently covered. The investigation section is fun, and there are some exciting combats. Whilst some scenes must happen, there are multiple routes between them, giving replay value. Accurately written: in the version I downloaded, only one error found in three plays. (The second option in 60 should read turn to 56, not 171; this may have been corrected in updates.) If I had any criticism, it would be that the mystery and culprits are a little too obvious.

Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Plague of the Undead – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the feedback which is greatly appreciated. There will be a revised version coming out very soon which will fix that error that you highlighted. Look out for Paul's next gamebook which has the alliterative title of "Scourge of the Shadows" -- coming soon.
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Plague of the Undead – a Dragon Warriors Solo Adventure
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2022 02:51:01

In my books Red Ruin is quickly establishing itself as a publisher of great quality OSR material. This is a solo module for the iconic Dragon Warriors RPG system written in the 80s by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson. Dave and Oliver can be proud of this latest fan effort. Calljng it a fan effort perhaps suggests it lacks polish or skill, but it had both in abundance. The writing is succinct but evocative and atmospheric with a style bery reminiscient of Fantasy Fantasy books of yore. The cover is great as you can see and the interior art is nice. Its a classic short dungeon crawl with a hint of whimsy and fun. A great play through and an entertaining read. Well done! And best of all - it's free!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Casket of Fays #5 – a Dragon Warriors RPG fanzine
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2022 18:23:01

At the risk of sounding like a sad fanboy, this zine just keeps getting better and better! The zine has grown to a respectable 48 pages but there's no padding. Highlights for me include the Tallow Man, the Sultan's Eye and the location write ups for the great library in Ongus and the town of Allargon - both with maps!

The Tallow Man is a worthy villain who could equally be at home in a Victorian/gaslight detective/Holmes/Cthulu game and as a medieval menace.

As usual the Brockprint artwork is just superb (how does he manage to evoke such action and emotion?!) and the Pazuzu by David Donachie is first class.

There really is so much to wax lyrical about in this 5th issue...but best of all it's free!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Casket of Fays #5 – a Dragon Warriors RPG fanzine
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