Hello all, today I have an adventure review from a publisher whose work I have looked at before (and really love!). The adventure Whispers from the Void is one which you can get for either 5th Edition or Pathfinder and continues on the story from the previous adventure the Claws of Madness. While I have a copy of Claws of Madness, I have not yet had a chance to go through it. Instead of going through both, I decided to take a look at this second adventure to see how it stands on its own and let you know if you NEED the previous one to pick this up. With that, let’s get into it!
Usually I have a little bit of a hard time deciding on what aspects of the adventure to highlight without going into the details and spoilers of said adventure. Not so with Lore Smyth’s latest title. This adventure is wonderfully done. From the beginning it is clear that the adventure is designed to be a sequel to the original but a thing apart. It builds upon what remains at the end of the first adventure and uses the questions left present at the end of all such adventures and uses it to kickstart another. As such this could be easily played following the first or even a short while afterwards or it is written to be readily available to a new group stumbling across a town in the aftermath of what happened. Like many adventures this one assumes that the adventuring party has some kind of heroes or folk willing to get paid for services, but has a number of different hooks to draw the attention of various PC types.
The adventure itself is fairly straightforward but does not feel overbearingly railroading. Lore Smyth achieves this by laying out clues and obvious trails to follow that tend to crisscross their way to the ending without requiring to follow one specific track. In fact the adventure even mentions that the party could, and can, skip a whole portion. Throughout the journey the players will be faced with encounters that bring up potential side quests and rewards to be had. All of this leads to an adventure that could, depending on the group, be quite a long and fun campaign. The details provided for everything is well implemented with a lot to chew on but nothing too set in stone, as it were. Everything feels vibrant and well-constructed but with a lot of malleability. As a simple example of the wonderful way they do little things to beef up the feel and potential of this adventure there is an encounter with wild boar that has a chance to include piglets. This little insert provides a ready, simple, and obvious way to randomly (or purposefully) compound a problem and challenge the party in ways unexpected.
Lore Smyth impressed me with their map tiles and I continue to be impressed by this product. The design of the product is simple but fitting. There are all the obvious mainstays that I look for: good headings, readable font, obvious and discernible narrative boxes, separate and discernible sidebars, etc. At first I wasn’t sure about the art. The maps are very well done and would look great printed out for the players to hold. The art throughout the book is a modified black and white, simpler style that includes a lot of indigo to match the general design of the product. As much as I love great art the likes of which we see in Paizo products, I really love this art style. It is consistent and fits the overall aesthetic and I really appreciate that. Small things contribute to making this a easily used product as well. One example is the inclusion of which monsters are in their appendix and which are in the SRD. They even go so far as to tell you which page the SRD monsters are on which is VERY helpful. I believe the only exception was the phase spider but that is likely an editing error. One of the only things I didn’t enjoy about the layout of the product was the monster stat blocks. They need a little design touching up. A couple were needlessly split into two columns and I would love to see a little spacing between abilities for my eyes’ sake.
All in all I really love this product. Clocking in at only 34 pages it provides enough stuff to work with for hour and hours of fun. At only $7 this adventure is WELL worth it. If you are looking for something that is both a lot of bang for buck and bursts at the seams with play potential, Lore Smyth definitely has something for you. Now, if only I can find time to squeeze this into one of my games.