Dark Dealings in the Shaded Souq is a new scenario for the esoteric fantasy game Black Void. The scenario was written by Daniel Cross.
Black Void by Christoffer Sevaldsen is one of the most unique and extra-ordinary fantasy roleplaying game out there. It is a superb blend of Planescape, Arabian Nights and Lovecraftian horror, making it an ideal esoteric fantasy.
Today, a new scenario is released for Black Void, Dark Dealings in Shaded Souq written by Daniel Cross. The scenario is more than 80 page long, includes descriptions of numerous locations and interesting npcs, not to mention dangerous adversaries and monsters.
This scenario is the first in series of modules and scenarios for Black Void that together can make up a grand campaign. Of course, each scenario can be played as a stand-alone module. Playing through the scenario takes 2-4 sessions and has everything the arbiter needs to run the scenario.
Dark dealings indeed – Spoilers ahead
The Eternal City and the Khameeliya district is ripe with dark schemes, power-hungry groups and political maneuverings. The player characters are unlucky enough to become entangled in one such scheme, when trying to find a new patron.
The story centers around this scheme and it involves powerful factions, a djinn and his monstrous daughter, and a fight for dominance in the exotic animal market.
The player characters need to untangle themselves, like flies trying to break free from a spider’s web, and if they manage to do so, they have made some new friends and perhaps some very powerful enemies along the way.
The book, the hook and the setting
First of all, this is a beautiful book. Black Void is such a beautiful game, with great art, nice maps and the overall design is great. I have but one complaint about the setup up, and I would’ve liked to see the text that the arbiter reads out or paraphrases either in boxes or made more distinct. Otherwise the setup is superb, the text reads well and everything is laid out nice, making the book easy to browse.
The weakest part of the narrative for me was the hook. I would’ve liked to see the hook more relevant to the player characters, making it more personal. The fact that they were just unlucky, the wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time, is a bit weak in my opinion, especially if the arbiter is using the scenario as part of a larger, ongoing campaign.
However, this is easy to change and the rest of narrative is great.
The setting, Khameeliya district, comes alive in the narrative. There are numerous and interesting npc‘s, the locations are well fleshed out and each comes with a map (one for players and one for arbiters). The npc‘s are well fleshed out, making it easy to run the scenario.
Every type of character gets a chance to shine, whether melee, social, stealthy or investigative types, making this a great scenario.
All in all, this is a solid scenario for Black Void. If you played through The Flight from Salvation Square, Dark Dealings in Shaded Souq can be played as a follow-up. Despite that the hook might be stronger, this scenario is great and has something for all types of characters.
A complimentary copy was provided by Black Void.