Review: Whispers of the Dark Daeva (5th Edition)

This week saw the release of a new adventure from Ondine Publishing, by author Richard Green for his multi-system compatible campaign setting, Parsantium titled Whispers of the Dark Daeva.

In particular, this version of the adventure is compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition through Wizards Open Game License. The adventure itself is aimed at 1st-level adventurers.

whispers_of_the_dark_daeva_cover

The first thing that strikes me about this book is that unlike a lot of third-party supplements, the cover art is simply delightful. Illustrator Joe Shawcross has done a superb job of making this feel frankly like something Wizards of the Coast would publish themselves. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite get the appreciation it deserves as the adventure is only available in digital form from DriveThruRPG.

That being said, this 42-page adventure is illustrated throughout, with the only downside being that it only really has a handful of splashes of colour throughout with most illustrations being black and white. It’s something that I would prefer to be more the other way around, because as a Dungeon Master that sometimes struggles with descriptions of things, colour helps.

Whispers of the Dark Daeva takes place in the Dock Ward of Parsantium’s Old Quarter which the adventure book gives more than enough background on to run the adventure without having to purchase the Parsantium sourcebook. Though if you wanted to expand upon that further, while the adventure book gives a good description of areas of the city you’ll find yourself interacting with, the sourcebook itself is a must.

The adventure, while aimed a little more towards 5th Edition also puts a little emphasis on the fact that Parsantium is a multi-RPG sourcebook with nods to other system-targeted publications in the Parsantium series such as Icons of Parsantium, which is for use with 13th Age.

whispers_of_the_dark_daeva_art
It’d be good to see this in colour

Without spoiling anything for anyone, players find themselves thrown right into the middle of the action as the adventure opens with the adventurers needing to find a way to stop things getting out of hand.

Each act and area in the adventure reads as well thought out, planned and as the author has a real passion for what they’re writing and the world they’ve created which with third-party resources, I find usually isn’t the case. Tactics and developments are explained clearly and in a way that even a novice Dungeon Master would understand and although maps aren’t anything fancy, they’re clear and easily understood which helps keep the flow of the game moving even if you’ve not had the time to prep for your game as much as you’d like.

The same can be said for adversaries and monsters, their stat blocks follow the current 5th Edition style that most Dungeon Masters should be familiar with, making this adventure feel like it’s just another Adventurer’s League publication or chapter within your on-going campaign.

As the adventure unfolds, players are able to explore the dark goings-on of the city of Parsantium and there are in fact consequences with, again unlike a lot of official and third-party supplements, the ability for the adventurers to fail with no assumption made that the party is always going to succeed.

All in all, Whispers of the Dark Daeva is a great read and though I haven’t had the ability to play through it yet, I can see myself running it for friends over the holiday period as a one shot or possibly to unfold into a larger campaign. If anything, I’d love to see this adventure included in an overall campaign authored by Richard himself.

Good points

  • Well written, great to read
  • A good starting point for any campaign
  • Don’t necessarily need the larger sourcebook
  • Gret adventure for a great price

Bad points

  • Artwork suffers from mostly being black and white

Ugly points

  • The adventure is only available digitally meaning that cover doesn’t get the appreciation it truly deserves.

Whispers of the Dark Daeva is available now from DriveThruRPG for £4.00 or $4.99.

All images used copyright Richard Green © 2016.

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