(5e) Whispers from the Void

By Benoit de Bernardy, Richard Jansen-Parks, JVC Parry
Level 4

After enjoying many long decades of peace, the small port town of Sestone has found itself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the entire region – if not the very fabric of the mortal plane. In hopes of learning more about the growing danger, the adventurers are tasked to seek out a secretive druid circle. But the heroes are not the only ones looking for the druids.

Thirty four pages of linear encounters. Joy. With too much read-aloud. Joy. And read-aloud that tells you what you think and feel. Joy. Lots and lots of meaningless text. Joy. Why people put up with this dreck is beyond me. Do they just not know that there is better available? Yeah, yeah, “we had fun.” Whatever. I choose Camus. THis is just more of the usual 5th edition garbage.

Baron Cant-Be-Bothered asks you to go find some druids who might know how to shut down a mutation rift nearby. He gives you the name of a woman in a nearby town who may know where the druids are. She is dying on the floow when the party finds her. The druids in the forest are being attacked by pirates. You follow the pirates and kill them. There’s some other minor shit. It’s linear.

The maps are small and the key numbers on them are hard to read. Strike One.

The adventure opens with Baron I-dont-care and some villagers memorializing some dead people. No details given. Specificity is the soul of narrative. “Bob had 18 sons and never caught a fish though he loved fishing.” There. One sentence. The DM can now build on that for the eulogy’s that are supposed to take up the intro/hook. Nope. Can’t be bothered. This is bad fucking writing. It’ abstracts the parts of the adventure that the DM needs to run the encounter.

To add insult to injury it them expands useless background detail. This kind of crap reminds me of style guides for a Tv series. We gotta know the minor characters backstory for episode 89 … but there ain’t no episode 89 in D&D. It’s all just garbage and detracts from the information the DM needs to run the adventure RIGHT NOW … well, if that information were in the adventure to begin with.

You find your contact in town dying on the floor. The read-aloud is long. I guarantee that before the DM finishes reading the shitty text that someone will have cast cure light. But, no, no provision for that. The plot calls for a death and so their contact dies. It’s fucking lame. Don’t want to have the contact tell them something? THEN MAKE THEM DEAD. Yanking the fucking parties chain, teasing them with possibilities that you will DM fiat away, is no fucking way to run a D&D game. And if you think it is then you’re a fucking idiot.

Shitty long DM text abounds. Here’s the FIRST paragraph for an NPC found in a inn: “For many years, the Tomund siblings paid little attention to the town where they lived, but after his brother Guthber was found to be the cause of the missing townsfolk, Heleste has been making an effort to get to know the locals. Many still look on him with suspicion, but Ared at least appreciates the effort.”

What the fuck is the point of that? Does any of that fucking shit matter when the party strides up to him? Bad fucking writing.

“You see a winged monstrosity gliding …” Yeah, ok, failed novelist. That’s a fucking conclusion. Tell the fucking party what they see if you are going to make us suffer through read-aloud. Better yet, write one sentence of DM text that inspires the DM with a great description, the way good adventures do.

There’s three paragraphs devoted to a geographical feature, darkstone pass, which is completely irrelevant. The next encounter is the manticore , err, “”winged monstrosity”. The pass text adds nothing but to the page count.

“Weary from your long walk, you’re glad to see the walls of Moonstone draw closer.” No. Just, No. Conclusions. Telling the party what they see and think. Just fucking textbook bad read-aloud.

And none of that even touches on the linear nature.

You know, I really wish DriveThru/Now offered no questions asked refunds. Yeah, yeah, piracy, blah blah blah. People don’t deserve this kind of crap.

This is $7 at DriveThru.https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/212028/Whispers-from-the-Void-5e-adventure?affiliate_id=1892600

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2 Responses to (5e) Whispers from the Void

  1. YouDontMessWithTheJeff says:

    Given your mostly bad experiences with 5e adventure modules, I’d say that’s as good a reason as any to stop reviewing them. It’s pretty clear by looking at the ones you have reviewed that they just don’t fall into the Old School design philosophy.

  2. Brax says:

    I wish I had read your review earlier. I am running this module and it is a pain to keep motivated. This is boring and badly written with plot holes, paths that don’t make sense and ending that is a big F-U- to all of us. I am struggling to extract the players from this garbage.

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