This is one of those games I've been putting off reading because I was hoping one of my friends would run it. White Noise is a short horror adventure from Just Insert Imagination written by Jamie Pierson, Eric Lamoureux, and Morne Schaap. This is a plug & play adventure designed to be a complete grab and go rpg adventure ready for a convention or a GM on the go with little prep time required.
From the get go I was stoked to dive into this adventure because I've been craving a good horror game to get into. The cover art inspires the imagination as if you're looking out the porthole of a ship or airplane which is backlit with a red warning light. The game takes place in Alaska during the cold war in 1967. The players are a part of a corporation security team sent in to "clean up messes before the public finds out." The players know that the corporation they work for is dabbling in "biochemical pharmaceuticals" and have cleaned up some of the experiments before. Their job on this mission is to fly from the corporation's headquarters in Portland to a research facility in Alaska and lock down the facility. Then they need to find out what happened and report back to Headquarters.
White Noise uses the setting rules of Blood & Guts, Jokers Wild, and Gritty Damage. It wouldn't be a horror game if Gritty Damage was missing. With chances of infection after each wound, a player has the possibility to pick up a mutation from the included Mutation Table (I would prefer to use the Mutation Deck from JII). After the introduction there are 4 scenes for the players to go through. This should be enough for a 3 to 4 hour game session provided that the players at the table don't just rush through each location. This is where the GM really needs to manage the game progression.
There is a good story plot and background info but it just feels as if it's unfinished. Within the two documents provided, there are some worker journal handouts, but no mention in the adventure of when or where to distribute them. I have no doubt that most GM's have enough creativity to figure out how to make this adventure work.
Both documents contain 5 pre-generated character sheets. No, you don't get 10 different characters. There are two different versions of the same 5 characters. Both sets of characters look good but one set clearly has a different layout so you can easily separate them from each other (you'll see what I mean if you get this pdf). The character sheets look really, really good. I love the dot matrix form feed paper used as the background. Each character is unique and they also come with a secret. After each player picks their character the GM is instructed to hand out the secrets to the respective player. My personal favorite secret is Bamm's. I don't want to give away any spoilers on the player secrets.
Out of all of their PnP games this is the only one that appears to be slightly disorganized. In this adventure you get a cover page, 2 pages of backstory and adventure, a one page Mutation Table, a one page sonar map of the Alaskan area, 2 pages of basic figure flats, 2 pages of Worker Journal handouts, 3 pages of table tents, and 6 pages of pre-generated characters.
As usual, Just Insert Imagination has set the bar high with excellent artwork and layout. Plenty of supplements make this adventure convention ready. It is pay what you want so I encourage you to pick it up and form your own conclusions.
I would give this one 7 out of 10.