Remley Farr’s adventure, The Sun Goes Down with a Ruby Smile, is a level 1 murder mystery. The characters find shelter on an island due to a storm. However, they quickly realize that something horrible has happened there.
It’s a small, 18-page adventure that can either be used as a one-shot or a side quest in your campaign. It can be easily ran by new and experienced DMs, since it has all you may need. There is enough backstory for the DMs so they can have a good idea of what has happened, ready narrative text for the players and maps detailing every area that can be visited. Well, except one area but it’s rather small so there’s no need for one.
I would also like to mention here that I enjoyed the amount of information offered to the DM. It’s just enough. It’s enough to have the idea of what’s going on. It’s enough to know how any of the NPCs should react with the characters and each other. And all that without becoming tiring. That’s something I appreciate, especially if I just want to prepare a one-shot for my players at a moment’s notice.
The adventure does what it promises. It offers an interesting murder mystery along with some correctly placed combat encounters. This is an unusual, to me, type of adventure and found it quite interesting. It also gives some options to the DM and the players at the end. If you use this as a side quest to a campaign, you can have the players establish a base on the island. Also, the players can have one of the NPCs travel with them.
However, I have to note a couple of things. The first one is that there’s something like a prerequisite. The party should have at least one medium sized humanoid female or someone who can speak and read Orc. It’s not that bad, right? Well, here’s the thing. This adventure is about unraveling a mystery and not hacking and slashing your way to the end. It’s about trying to find small pieces of information scattered across the area. That’s why you need at least one (if not both) of the recommended characters. This will greatly help the characters with finding the truth.
The other one is that if the characters are a little twitchy and ready to kill anything that moves, chances are that a kinda important NPC will die. This will deprive the characters of information that would help them piece the story together and find out what has happened.
There were also some minor editing errors but that can be easily fixed and I don’t believe they would create any problems for the DM. Except for the name of one area that had the same name with another.
In the end, it’s an interesting adventure. It will take you only a session to finish it so you should give it a try.