Continuing the ongoing saga of survivors aboard the mammoth prison-ship Gehenna, this adventure takes your band of convicts through treacherous areas, be they chilly parts of the vessel or picking their way through the complex relationships forming and reforming amongst various gangs struggling for power. As there are some recurring individuals, it will help if you have run previous episodes that have been published for at least one character in your current game, but each adventure is mostly stand-alone, and you may well have done other things in between.
Whilst looking for a safe place to hole up for the night, the characters encounter someone that they might well have met before, rooting around in a computer system. No innocuous hack (is there such a thing?) but part of a massive ongoing plot to take control, the thwarting of which provides the plotline for this adventure. Some quite massive assumptions are made concerning how the characters might go about that, but there's sufficient information given about what is going on for you to cope if they decide not to torture the person it's assumed they will capture rather than kill. (It's fair to say that my players probably would, and without the handy ready-reference that's supplied to show to more reluctant individuals!). Just in case they baulk, someone else is watching what is going on and can provide at least some of the information that's needed to move matters on.
Throughout this adventure, there are plenty of options - encounters that can be resolved by brawling or by talking, events that can be watched or interfered with, and so on. Care has been taken so that irrespective of the choices made, it's likely that all but the completely disinterested are going to pick up what is happening (and they are the most likely to end up dead, anyway!). As if picking your way through sometimes complex alliances was not enough, there is plenty of physical peril in this part of the ship as well. Flooded areas, leaked chemicals, extreme cold... and the odd addict roaming the corridors looking for his next fix, not to mention the odd monster that quite fancies gobbling them up.
If inter-gang rivalry is not enough, the characters also have the opportunity to take sides in internal conflicts and leadership contests. There are also new places to explore and new alliances to be made. And there's something far, far worse... something that actively latches on to at least one character and preys on their guilt about their past... and about which I'll say no more in case someone who plays in this adventure happens to read the review!
There is a lot to explore, a lot to interact with, a lot to survive, within these pages. An adventure that will keep players busy, whatever approach they bring to the game - curiousity, an urge for combat or a desire to interact. Well up to the standard of earlier adventures in this line, and a fitting showcase for this unusual and innovative game.
Return to Sins of the Past page.
Reviewed: 13 July 2011