Ruins of Symbaroum continues its 5th Edition adaptation of the popular tabletop RPG with two new books that collect adventures into the dark forests of Davokar.
Publisher Free League released the Adventure Compendium and Call of the Dark on February 7th, which designer Jacob Rogers has converted from material originally designed for use with Symbaroum’s house system into modules that accommodate players who prefer rolling 20-sided dice.
Both books are available as physical volumes or digital PDFs in Free League’s webstore (digital copies use DriveThruRPG’s storefront for redemption). Groups will need Ruins of Symbaroum’s Game Master Guide and Player’s Guide to make use of the modules at their table - these tomes, plus a bestiary, were the fruits of a popular Kickstarter campaign last year that brought the dark and dangerous world full of esoteric elves, corrupting magic and long-forgotten treasure to the tabletop RPG mechanics popularised by Dungeons & Dragons.
The Adventure Compendium is a fairly straightforward port of the Symbaroum book by the same name. It contains seven adventures designed by Mattias Johnsson Haake and Mattias Lilja that will carry players from levels one to eight as they traverse its pages. The settlements of Kastor, Ravenia and Prios Pass are fleshed out as hubs of roleplay and more information about humanity’s new life trapped between their dead past and an unknown future. Facilitators can additionally use the thirteen powerful and dangerous artefacts detailed within, and the pantheon of Young Gods introduces a new era of faith that will no doubt cause friction with Davokar’s ancient deities - and their adherents.
Veteran Symbaroum players will recognise the encounters within Call of the Dark as the same material first found in Symbaroum’s Adventure Pack 4. The eponymous Call of the Dark and Retribution adventures, designed by Erik Hylander, explore the internal strife developing within Ambrian society by following a lowborn noble desperate to improve their family’s lot and investigating a missing person whose disappearance could prove the lynchpin in a political powderkeg.
Call of the Dark also contains helpful information on a dozen different locations and maps of the major questing areas, along with four distinct artefacts for players to seek out that definitely aren’t cursed or suffused with corruption or anything like that, nah. This still is Symbaroum, even if it aligns closer to a more mainstream understanding of tabletop roleplay. Of course magic will still gobble your soul from the inside.
Dicebreaker’s impressions of the core Ruins of Symbaroum books found the conversion one of the best yet printed using a System Reference Document that Wizards of the Coast only just recently moved into the Creative Commons. That said, it comes at a price of the quirks and peculiarities that made Symbaroum initially stand out from the crowd.