This is a massive adventure that centres on a fabulous giant black opal called the Heart of Darkness... which has just been stolen from a museum. Several contending factions are trying to get their hands on it - some for good motives, some who want to further the ambitions of the dark ones, and maybe some who just plain think it's valuable - and the party ends up in the middle of it all, chasing clues around the entire world.
The introduction begins by recounting the stone's history, or at least the rumours and legends that can be gleaned about it. Then the Referee's Introduction provides more detail, not for player eyes of course. It explains the adventure's structure which is non-linear, with five locations that can be visited in any order and the groups or individuals who will interact with the party. There's an extensive section called Research Results which can be shared with the party as their investigation proceeds, and one of Referee Resources with extensive background, ideas for further adventures and repercussions, and more. Then we get to hear the REAL story of the Heart of Darkness...
Various suggestions are made as to how you can get the party involved: pick the one you know will intrigue them the most or invent one of your own. Once they're off, with or without the support of a major corporation that for some reason is interested in the location of the Heart of Darkness, each of the five main locations is discussed in detail, with major NPCs to talk to, places to visit and so on. Sometimes conversations will result, other places a brawl may break out or something else less civilised...
Eventually, as everything comes together, there's an epic conclusion, very cinematic, with a massive fight involving all interested parties (and some good hints for the Referee to help him run a fight scene with 90+ NPCs in it without making the party feel like spectators). Some excellent ideas for continuing adventures are provided at the end.
This is the sweeping epic adventure that defines the Dark Conspiracy game. It's something a party can get their teeth into, and which their players will reminisce about for years to come.
Return to Heart of Darkness page.
Reviewed: 13 October 2017