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Dark Heresy: Dead Stars: Haarlock Legacy III $24.95 $12.50
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Dark Heresy: Dead Stars: Haarlock Legacy III
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Dark Heresy: Dead Stars: Haarlock Legacy III
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/21/2015 09:12:41
This is the final part of the Haarlock's Legacy campaign, and works best if you've already played through the preceeding two instalments. It can be run without, but you may find yourself doing an awful lot of explaining to get the Acolytes up to speed.

This adventure is quite different from the earlier ones, sending the Acolytes on a journey across the icy world Mara, delving deep into a derelict mining station and even deeper into the darkness that is Rogue Trader Haarlock's legacy with, of course, competing factions also after whatever there is to discover by those courageous (or foolhardy) enough to follow in his footsteps, and the future of the entire Calixis Sector hangs in the balance... Epic stuff indeed, a fitting climax to the entire campaign.

Fortunately, there's plenty of support to help you paint the sweeping images that will make the various places visited come alive in your players' minds as they battle in space, trek through icy wastes and steamy swamps and more in their quest: from suggestions and hints to 'read aloud' text, there are many resources at your fingertips. Like its predeeding adventures, this one will benefit from thorough study and preparation before you begin to play. It is also worth weaving in other material from the rest of your campaign, former enemies perhaps and other references to events in their past, thus making it more personal to the Acolytes.

The Introduction also provides a handy run-down of what the characters ought to already know about what is going on as well as providing other clues and lore about the Legacy that you may wish to provide to them. There's also advice on how to bring new characters in: the adventure is quite deadly and you may not finish it with the same cast that you began with! And of course, finally and for your eyes only, there is the explanation of what is really going on...

Next comes a succinct GM Briefing that lays out how the adventure should proceed. It comes in three main stages, but you will need to provide a suitable 'bridge' from whatever it is the Acolytes are doing immediately before the adventure begins (hints are provided to get things off to a flying start, however). This section also discusses the various rival factions and other adversaries that they will have to contend with... and other dangers, such as extreme cold, that they will encounter. Finally there is a detailed description of the ice station on Mara that they will have to explore.

The three sections of the adventure proper follow, each provided with copious detail to enable you to make it come alive for your players. Throughout, there is plenty going on to keep them occupied beginning with an unprecedentedly generous gift of equipment and a cinematic space battle before they even reach Mara. Once there, of course, things do not slacken off and there are artefacts to discover and secrets into which they must delve to find the answers that they seek. This is one adventure that will live on in memory far after the last die is rolled.

It is not an easy adventure to run or to play, there is so much going on, so much information to keep hold of, but it is this complexity that lends it a richness and vividness that makes it into something special... and throughout there are hints and tips to aid you in making it all happen in a coherent manner. Strange devices, warped realities, nothing will ever seem quite the same.

Those Acolytes who survive, never mind triumph - and both are possible if hard - will feel that they have really accomplished something, even if it is something they might find hard to recount to future generations. They will have earned their way to higher office, gained a formidable reputation... and their players will have enjoyed a game to remember!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Dead Stars: Haarlock Legacy III
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/01/2010 04:50:48
Normally I wouldn’t write a review for what is essentially a module without having run it first. We all know that what looks good on paper rarely survives contact with the enemy.
However, on a first read, Dead Stars stays faithful to the setting of the 40K universe, with very high production standards making this a true pleasure to read. Whilst I would normally purchase a copy of modules only in PDF, this does beckon for a print purchase as well.
It is important to note that this is the third part of a trilogy, and whilst there is a section ‘What the Acolytes should know’ which you could (theoretically) give to players, it is no substitute for actually playing the first two. With minimal work though, a GM could adapt this book to be a stand-alone, so don’t let the ‘last in the trilogy’ aspect put you off. The adventure ‘Ice Station Mara’ is a brilliant extrapolation of the haunted house theme for 40K and any GM worth their salt could turn this into a truly creepy and memorable RP session.
The PDF version is enhanced by internal links wherever a page number is used, which makes cross referencing plot points or rules very easy. Sidebars of explanatory text are used effectively, with additional points to note, how to get things back on track if the players derail the plot, or simply to provide advice in running the game and evoking the right mood.
As can be expected from Fantasy Flight, the production values are high, with excellent artwork and an evocative layout. It is a shame that images of all of the major NPCs were not presented, but this is a minor point.
In all well worth the money in PDF and print.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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