The Archon Ruins

Gnarled Monster

(4 reviews) Write a Review

A new adventure by Brazilian author/illustrator Alex Damaceno (@gnarledmonster)!

Beyond the desert mountains lies the ruins of a forgotten civilization. The reason for its collapse is a subject of study to scholars from many realms, but one thing is known for certain: there lies the largest vein of arcane crystals in the known world! Yet, extracting them is no easy task and many ventures have already failed miserably...

The Archon Ruins is a system-agnostic microsetting for tabletop adventure games. Here you play as treasure hunters in a place full of mysterious magic, dangerous conflict, and pottery creatures! The zine is written for two styles of gameplay: those who enjoy using minimalist rulesets with lots of improvised rulings, and friendly tables without a Game Master.

As a GMless adventure, the text has no secrets to be discovered or revealed, except what can be added through randomness or player input. The challenges and situations have no expressed solution and are expected to be solved with creativity.

Ps.: Traditional GMs are also welcome to use this zine as a starting point to prep their own sessions beforehand!

The 44 page zine contains:

  • Two regional maps
    • The Desert Plateau (overworld)
    • The Glowing Caves (underworld)
  • Six dungeon maps with six rooms each
  • Six factions of dungeon reavers with their own goals
  • Six arcane scholars looking for lost knowledge
  • 11 unique Potkin monsters to fight
  • 36 magical artifacts to find in the ruins

A digital copy of the zine is included with purchase, along with:

  • All maps in high resolution
  • A notebook version of the zine to take notes
  • All monsters and NPCs as paper minis

The first 200 orders will receive a holographic Archon sticker and an A3 poster map of the regional maps.

4 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Archon Ruins

    Posted by ALD on Jul 12th 2023

    I loved Damaceno's other work, so I purchased this when it was released. I'm quite happy with it, it's filled with nice artwork and awesome ideas. Just like Damaceno's earlier pieces, the formatting and layout of the book make it easy to read.

  • 5
    Archon Ruins

    Posted by Danny Grimes on Jul 12th 2023

    Just recieved this little gem and I love it. Luxe printing, colors are spot on and the content is odd, disquieting and super useful at my table. LOVE IT!

  • 5
    The Archon Ruins

    Posted by Steven Taylor on Jul 10th 2023

    I love the artwork. I love the prose. As always every Swordfish Islands product I have ever purchased has been top-notch! Thanks again, guys!

  • 5
    Lovely fantascience desert powder keg

    Posted by Jesse on Jul 9th 2023

    I fell into the lovely world of adventure zines about a year ago, and this has got to be one of my favorites. The versatility of the zine overall is a really fresh take on how a zine can be used. The layout is super easy to use at the table, and it’s spread out cleanly in the same way I’d hope to design a Notion template or wiki. Bonus points for the promptless item art at the end! I wish more games did this. If you’re looking for a powder keg of a situation that’s easy to use and pottery-centric, you’ve come to the right place.