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Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher $24.95 $12.50
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher
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Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2015 08:44:33

This adventure is the first part of The Apostasy Gambit trilogy, but it works quite well as a stand-alone adventure, although you might want to tweak the final revelations to suit whatever you will be doing next, as they lead into the next part, The Church of the Damned. As you can imagine from the names, it centres about evil lurking at the heart of religious institutions which the Acolytes will have to uncover and thwart if peace and order are to be maintained.


There's a good backstory to help the GM understand what is going on, suffice to say that like so many things, it all began with well-meaning but misguided individuals who wanted to save, rather than destroy, the Calixis Sector. The adventure itself breaks down into four major sections.


The first part sees the Acolytes involved in regular Inquisition activity, sent to raid the estate of a noble who has gone to the bad and amassed a whole load of dangerous texts and artefacts... one of which should lead them to realise that they need to visit a place called the Haematite Cathedral, where an even greater evil lurks and must be eradicated. It starts almost in media res, with little time for more than a quick visit to the armoury to gear up before the party finds itself leaping out of a Valkyrie transport with grav-chutes, crashing through a glass roof as the raid begins. Notes for scaling combat encounters are provided to accomodate various levels of characters, and other advice is provided as appropriate to help you keep things on track.


The rest of the adventure, which is fairly free-form in nature, covers the exploration of the Haematite Cathedral and investigation of what's actually happening there. It's set up so that the Acolytes can choose their own approach and route through the place, with plenty of activity, events and discoveries awaiting them whichever way they turn. Eventually, climactic events will ensue leading them to discover terrible dark secrets... secrets that leave death and destruction in their wake.


The adventure mixes investigation and combat well, with plenty of activity to keep the Acolytes on their toes. As well as the central theme of secrets to be discovered, it also deals with moral corruption, ill-advised alliances and sheer desperation. The discoveries to be made are spectacular and awe-inspiring if well-handled, and the resources provided should enable you to describe them appropriately.


There's an impressive Appendix of hand-outs and maps, although some are a bit jumbled and the page borders remain - these rather spoil the illusion and you may want to cut the various documents and maps out (if you are using print-outs from the PDF - just what you do with a print version is left up to you, most people don't like ripping pages out of a book).


Overall it is an exciting adventure from start to finish, one that should give the Acolytes a real sense of discovery, of making progress as they investigate... and a good lead-in to the next events you have in store for them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/31/2011 14:44:40

Black Sepulchre is the first in a series of adventures for Warhammer 40K Dark Heresy. It is heavily focused on investigation over combat, though there certainly is enough to keep players with an itchy trigger finger engaged. Unlike many pregenerated scenarios, this one is more “sandbox-y” and by that I mean the actual investigation is open ended. The bulk of the time is spent investigating a cursed and haunted cathedral, which has been corrupted by something powerful and evil. As the players put everything together, they learn the startling secrets behind what is really going on and the resolution of the story can lead them to further mysteries. They are purposely left vague so that you can move into your own scenario next or simply tee up the next adventure in the series.


Again, this is a beautiful PDF with amazing art, maps of areas, hand-outs for players, etc. The book even goes out of its way to add details on scaling the scenario for less and more experienced characters, making sure it is challenging for any party you are running it for. The only critique I have is that the PDF isn’t bookmarked. That makes it easier for me to skip back and forth between sections, but it’s a minor complaint.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/18/2011 18:42:54

This is the reason why I think that Fantasy Flight Games is the current powerhouse in the industry. I am seriously amazed every time that I open one of their books. The artwork and layout are always top-notch and serves to enhance the game, which is incredibly important when dealing with xenos beasts and technology - a good, detailed picture is a GMs best friend.
The writing continues be be as strong as ever; consistently proving that they are as invested in this game world as any wargamer - but bringing to the table fresh new elements that make this more than simply narrative wargaming.


'The Black Sepulchre' is an all-round excellent module. It kicks into high gear with one of my favourite 40K vehicles in a first scene starring role and it captures the immediate excitement and action very well. The module is well-paced, moving from high-intensity action and combat, to occult investigation, to horror and possible insanity all in the same storyline.
There are very helpful 'Troubleshooting' sections which provide advice for scaling, keeping characters on track, and even ways to weave this story into a much larger arc.


The 'big reveal' will be breath-taking for your players, especially if they figure it out by themselves (and this is supported in the game text) and sets the stage at the epic level you'd expect from 40K.


Whilst designed for all levels of 'Dark Heresy', you could easily run this with either 'Rogue Trader' or 'Deathwatch' with a little work.


I cannot wait for the next two installments as the bar has been set so high with this product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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