Black Void is one of the most interesting fantasy settings available today, and under Nebulous Skies is the first campaign available for the game.
When Black Void was first published by the Danish game designer Christoffer Sevaldsen, I was intrigued by the setting. This post-cataclysmic fantasy where humans were downtrodden and eking out meager life amongst the many humanoid races in a large universe. The veil between reality and the void had been shattered, and the truth of a much grander reality had been revealed. This kind of cosmic horror fantasy was right down my alley.
Under Nebulous Skies is a massive book, over 300 pages long, packed with information. It is all in one; a sourcebook, a player manual, and a campaign. The book has some great artwork, and the maps by the talented Francesca Baerald are beautiful.
About a third of the book is a sourcebook for players and arbiters. It contains information about two new locations, Kimah and Dhaarese, part of Llyhn, the eternal city. The detailed descriptions offer a great view of the area, famous characters, and notable locations. The third location, Kor’Tuan, is described in the campaign chapter, though much of that information could just as well have been placed with these two descriptions.
There are many great player options, allowing you to create the perfect character for the campaign. There are new talents and flaws (I like this part of Black Void, every player character has at least one flaw, which makes them even more interesting to play) and a few backgrounds. The book also introduces a few new kins, mixed races of different races and humans.
The book also introduces a new mystic sphere, the Void Sphere, and a few different powers related to that. For those who love the skill specializations mechanic (as I do), you will find more than 20 new skill specializations in Under Nebulous Skies.
Finally, a detailed chapter about equipment and Void vessels can be found at the end of the Travelogue. I liked reading through the Peculiar Substances chapter, a part about strange toxins and drugs. Voidfarers bring to Llyhn from distant corners of the known world.
The only complaint I have about the Voidfarer’s Travelogue is the art. The maps by Baerald are great, but I couldn’t help but find some images of the kins a bit too similar to art from other games, as shown in the following example.
The final chapters are devoted to antagonists, NPCs, and monsters. All of these are great, and I loved seeing the size comparison chart; it gives you a sense of the sheer enormity of many of the creatures.
Under Nebulous Skies – Grand Campaign
The campaign is divided into two parts, one of which takes place in Llyhn, especially the two parts of the city introduced in the Travelogue. This is a really interesting part, where the player characters must unravel the schemes and plots of various factions. In part 2, the player characters step aboard a Void vessel to explore Kor’Tuan, where they might encounter a massive void monster.
This is an epic campaign where the player characters must face a difficult question, in the end, to take on the void monster and save a hapless servant or follow the main antagonist through a void rupture. I found this part of the campaign fun because the player characters are put on the spot and must decide between two equally bad options.
I like the scene setup. It makes running each scene easy, even if you have innovative players. Each comes with its own synopsis, list of NPCs, locations, and notes. This is handy for arbiters, especially those who have time constraints. The scenes differ; some are excellent and fun, while others could be better and need more work from the arbiter.
The narrative is rather straightforward after the player characters reach Kor’Tuan. Even if my players deviated from the main narrative, I found it easy to make adjustments since there was so much information in the book. I can imagine that game masters who prefer to have only the essential information within a module, would find this a bit loaded. Still, I like having information and knowing how to impart the setting to the players.
Interesting narrative and a good sourcebook for Black Void fans. The only complaint I have is the vast difference between art and maps. The book has some awesome maps and others that could be better. The same can be said about the scenes; some are great, while others are not as good.
Overall, this is a great campaign and sourcebook and a must-have for all fans of Black Void.