Product Review – Rusthaven: An Iron Wind Sourcebook for Numenera

Rusthaven: An Iron Wind Sourcebook for Numenera

Author: Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell & Karl Larsson
Art Team: Storm Stewart, Nizar Ilman, Noemi Konkoly, Gennifer Bone,
Radu Cosmin, Hoang Phuc and Enmanuel Martinez Lema.
Publisher: Dark Liquid Games
Page Count: 131
Available Formats: PDF
Cost: PDF – $9.99

PREMISE
Rusthaven is a sourcebook for the roleplaying game Numenera and adds new creatures, organisations, descriptors and foci, new NPCs, a completely new set of Iron Wind-caused mutations known as ‘corrosions’ and, of course, the location of Rusthaven itself. It covers multiple types of Iron Wind, how society reacts to them and the prejudices that exist out of fear and ignorance towards the Wind and the people affected by it. A new system for creating random cyphers created by the Wind itself is included, alongside a collection of new artifacts and oddities.

Filled with new artwork, a complete mini-adventure, and several adventure seeds, Rusthaven has everything you need to bring the Iron Wind into your game. Taking inspiration from the body horror subgenre and the weird of Numenera itself, Rusthaven explores both the dark and the bizarre, the bleak and the hopeful. (Credit: DTRPG page)

QUALITY

My favorite piece of art in the book
My favorite piece of art in the book

The overall quality of this PDF only product is top notch! Upon loading the PDF in my viewer, I thought I was looking at a Monte Cook Games (MCG ) produced supplement. The design team took the necessary steps to ensure the layout and design choices look and feel just like an official Numenera product published by MCG. They went so far as including margin notes and page references, just official products, great layout choice.

The choices of artwork are also top notch. Each art piece looks as if it belongs in both content and context to the section of the book it is supporting. The art team is wicked talented!

For once, it was nice to read a quality supplement without glaring grammatical errors. The editing staff did an outstanding job editing and proofreading the supplement; just wanted to point this out.

GENERAL OVERVIEW
Rusthaven provides Numenera fans with a new and unique supplement that is sure to please most 9th Worlders.

There are several things presented in this supplement that are both bold and exciting. The first section a reader will encounter is the most prominent section of the book, Iron Winds. The Iron Winds are a new and devastating phenomenon that cyclically plaques parts of the Steadfast and Beyond. The wind can kill, mutate and create things from non-tangible origins. The Iron wind itself is the source of obscure mutations and other wild and crazy things that plague some, but not many; for the Iron Winds are rare. The Iron Winds present a climatic event to weave in your stories as you see fit. The second prominent section is the section dedicated to

Readers will next encounter Rusthaven itself. Rusthaven is a domed city that can be placed wherever the GM chooses, this is done on purpose to provide GMs with the greatest of flexibility. The town is richly detailed only insomuch as to give the GM a nice foundation to build from. The details presented, which include living in the town, notable places, and prominent people, are enough to use “as is” should a GM want to just drop the town somewhere on the map and go from there, plug and play! Locations and notable personalities are detailed just enough to be engaging and pique a GM’s interest and get their creative juices flowing.

The creatures and characters chapter will provide the GM and players alike with lots of new and exciting material. It all begins with new Foci and Descriptors that will be sure to excite new and seasoned adventurers! There is quite a bit of depth and diversity in these new options that are Rusthaven and Iron Wind specific. The bestiary included is awesome! Lots of weird beasts to add to this or any other game where you might want hints of the Iron Winds. The short section on NPCs is really nicely presented. The design team ensured that not only notable NPCs were included, but common Rusthaven inhabitants were as well.

The short chapter dedicated to Cyphers, Artifacts and oddities may be short but it’s packed with really cool stuff. A nicely thought out rust-cypher generator is included in this chapter. While it is obviously not exhaustive, it will give the GM plenty of options to work with or stand as a solid foundation to further develop new and unique cyphers. The lists of artefacts and oddities are short but are just long enough to give the GM some useful things to work with. 

No supplement would be complete without a thematic adventure included and Rusthaven is no exception. The three-part, multi-scene, adventure is really cool! It all begins when the normally self-sufficient residents of Rusthaven must look outside of its dome for help when the far too many strange and disturbing things have been happening within the dome–as if the place was haunted.  You’re going to have to play it to find out what’s going on! There is also a handful of creative adventure seed included too.

There are lots of other little details scattered throughout the book’s chapters. For example, there organizations and societies detailed that should give a GM plenty of material to work with!

PROS
– A unique idea that will add depth and richness to any Numenera game
– A creative product that is very easy and engaging to read
– New Foci and Descriptors are useful outside of this supplement
– The mini-adventure is fully developed and nicely crafted
– The adventure seeds are well throughout and inspirational
– A well thought out and wonderfully presented supplement
– Hyperlinked index for quick access to material
– Evocative art
– Great look and feel

CONS
– While I love every art piece, I wish there was just a little more continuity in the art styles used. Products that use a wide array of artists, such as this one, will face this from time to time. bear in mind that this is my personal opinion and you may not feel the same way.

PARTING SHOTS
I am sold on this supplement; after reading it, the Numenera game concept I have been working on is going to need to be changed! I want to incorporate some, not necessarily everything, of what this supplement has to offer in my own game. Even just hinting at the weird and seldom encountered Iron Winds in my upcoming game will leave me with lots of creative options for future sessions with my players. If you love running Numenera games or love having source books from which to harvest creative ideas from, you can’t go wrong with Rusthaven: An Iron Wind Sourcebook for Numenera! 

~ Modoc

Join the Boxcar Nation on G+ or on Twitter

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s