Review: Black Void Games – Dark Dealings in the Shaded Souq (Black Void)


Dark Dealings in the Shaded Souq
Dark Dealings in the Shaded Souq is an adventure for the dark fantasy RPG Black Void, written by Daniel Cross, published by Black Void Games, and distributed by Modiphius Entertainment.
By Aaron T. Huss

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Dark Dealings in the Shaded Souq is a full-length adventure for Black Void. For those already familiar with the game, it takes place in the Khameeliya district of Llyhn the Eternal, a land of merchant princes, artisans, and artists. Besides the adventure content, it also includes a mini-gazetteer of the location, with a map, to provide insight into the location. The adventure itself is location-based on follows a series of timeline events leading up to the climax of the adventure. Although the overarching storyline, and everything that moves the overall narrative along, is sequenced, the adventure is not a railroad, providing players with all the flexibility they need to move from one milestone to the next. It is actually written in a very flexible manner, simply telling you what’s going on, who’s involved, and where it is without defining how to resolve any conflicts that occur. It also contains a collection of new adversaries, groups, and beasts usable in this adventure and really within any adventure.

**THE FOLLOWING POTENTIALLY CONTAINS SPOILERS**

I love dark fantasy; dark fantasy games are often set apart from vanilla fantasy by one of two characteristics – environment or antihero. Environment dark fantasy includes games like Warhammer Fantasy, Ancient World, and Sundered Skies. Black Void is more about the antihero side of dark fantasy. Dark Dealings in the Shaded Souq really emphasizes that antihero characteristic, literally from the beginning of the adventure. The PCs start by being essentially framed for something they didn’t do, and the people of the setting generally couldn’t care less about them. During the course of the adventure, you are fighting against a force that already has a significant edge; you fight for your innocence and then work to root out the real reason for the greater conflict. But this isn’t some type of investigation, this is you trying to prove someone else is in the wrong and there is actually a greater conspiracy working behind the scenes.

And the best part of this adventure that really emphasizes its dark fantasy side? When the PCs triumph, the person who “employed” them reaps the benefit and the PCs are given the ability to work for someone. They are literally fighting for their very lives from the gutter up to working the day shift. There’s no parade honoring their names; there’s no harem waiting to attend to their every need; there’s not even a reward that would buy them a large estate where they can show of their deeds. Nope; none of that; all they get is enough street cred that they can work for somebody again at a later time. I absolutely love it!

This is a cool adventure and really fits with the theme Black Void sets out to create. It definitely does the setting justice and provides the players with more than ample space to take advantage of their preferred amount of flexibility. If you enjoy Black Void, get this adventure; even if you don’t run it, you’ll get a great understanding of what adventures in the setting are meant to feel like.

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