Monday, May 1, 2017

Dune Runner [RPG]


With a title like Dune Runner, it's no spoiler to say this four-part series of Pathfinder web fiction (available for free here) takes place in a desert locale.  It's a well-written fantasy tale in the classic vein: exploration, danger, monsters, and narrow escapes.  Despite a seemingly simple structure, there's a surprising amount of setting-specific detail, almost too much of it for relative newcomers to the game. The protagonists have an interesting relationship, though there's a back story element that I just didn't understand (probably because I don't have enough world knowledge of the setting).  The actions scenes and atmosphere are well done, and the dialogue is good.  All in all, I couldn't label this spectacular, but I would call it solid.


Set in the ancient Eygptian-like nation of Thuvia, Dune Runner is in some ways a simple tale: two explorers of an ancient temple find themselves separated from the third member of their group by a sandstorm, only to find that he's been kidnapped by the mad undead leader of a recently-uncovered outpost lost to the ages.  What sets this story apart is that the lead character, Jasilia, is of noble blood, and her stalwart companion, Nektep, is a member of the Risen Guard and was apparently put to death in the past by the Pharoah because he was in love with Jasilia!  I didn't quite follow the backstory details and the present state of their relationship still wasn't clear to me.  The missing member of the party is Ojan, Jasilia's brother, and he's been taken by the skeletal figure leading the undead army.  The villain is well-written as quite crazy, and his unpredictability adds some nice tension to the story.  This is one of those stories I probably won't remember much about in a couple of months, but I am intrigued by Thuvia, the Risen Guard, etc.

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