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Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e $4.99 $4.49
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e
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Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e
Publisher: Saturday Morning Scenarios
by Jay G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2020 23:17:01

Whispers In The Dark is a tremendous set of rules for investigative horror using D&D 5e as it's basic game engine.

For anyone looking for a way to game mystery/horror in a late 19th century setting Whispers really shows off the versatility of the D&D rules. Skills, Feats, and Backgrounds are the focus of character creation and the tools that drive players' ability to navigate through their adventures without swords and spells.

In addition to being its own complete game to explore supernatural and the mythos I feel this would also be a great a toolkit for adding options to other 5e based horror game settings like Ravenloft.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e
Publisher: Saturday Morning Scenarios
by Russ B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2020 23:16:37

This is a solid jumpstart to a game that I can't wait to see have a successful Kickstarter and release! Mixing Call of Cthulhu with 5e mechanics was something that I wanted to see ever since I tried COC 7e. The book is written well and I'm running "The Crow Man" this Saturday. I'm a big fan of the Victorian Era - New Orleans setting and I'm looking forward to writing scenarios for this game for my group moving forward.

My thoughts after reading through are:

  1. Would it not make more sense for Sanity to be INT+WIS modifier? I'm trying to figure out how CHA correlates to sanity.
  2. Could we potentially look forward to a setting release, or more fleshed out version of New Orleans in the core rulebook?


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Russ Re. INT + WIS - as a long-time DnD person that was my original thought too, but 5e has changed the descriptions around and I felt that the comments that Charisma is a measure of "force of personality" made it the key stat. That said it's your table and I encourage folks to adjust based on what they like! Re. Setting - absolutely. Horror in the Windy City will be Kickstarter March 30th thru April 29th and is a campaign set in Chicago in the late 1800s. New Orleans will continue to be explored in The Crow Man Saga. The next one should be out during the KS (maybe earlier). And I have another book that I'll be crowdfunding later this year that will be explore a third city anda new era. I chat about Whispers a lot on my Twitter if you want to stay in the loop. MT also has a few things up his sleeves too. Thank you for purchase and the review! Matt
Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e
Publisher: Saturday Morning Scenarios
by Carlos B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2020 15:18:00

I have to say that this is not an impartial review as I am a great fan of the Cthulhu and Lovecraftian Mythos, however I still think that it may be relevant for many interested on this material.

This review will not enconpass the adventure/scenario as I still haven't got time to play it.

Overview: I loved the athmosphere created by the layout and visual design of the material. The rules felt really straighforward to anyone already familiar with the "5th edition of the world's most famous roleplaying game". I liked the options of letting go yith classes and focusing on backgrounds for this particular theme, as well as I understand the choice of "Ancestries" insted of the more known "Races".

I enjoyed that it is filled with examples, as I am one that enjoy them very much, prefering to have some that are not useful than lacking one on something that ends up not being clear. I appreaciated the quotes used after tome chacpters titles, however I would like to have one for each chapter in case it was possible, I think they add to the vibe and genre.

The handouts look amazing and I really see the enormous value added by the GM's Sheet for Sanity Checks. For me pre-gens are a must for any quick play system or that intends to be played on the first session, so thumbs up for that as well. I have a lot to praise on this product and not that much to criticize to be perfectly candid.

Introduction: Describes directly and very well what the product is about. Loved the hint on the game that we "know the one". Plays upfront that classes are not used and that feats are one of the characters main customizations. Also, merits for mentioning that the lethality for the game is expected to differ as well as hinting on the most important chapters for already initiated players.

Mythos: Loved the flavourful description, including the ignorance as armour and the lucky or cursed references. However, I have to that as much as I agree with the boxed test of "The Problem with HPL", I found some of the phrasing confusing.

Character Creation: I was mesmerized by the backgrounds explanation, perhaps the best description of what backgrounds are that I have ever seen. The whole chapter is really straightforward and depicts in a clear and easy to follow way how to create a character even for inexperienced players. Enjoyed particularly the "Define Relationships" topic. The new mechanics for progression and how it is simplified and handled by the material seems to me a huge hit.

Ancestries: As already mentioned, I understand the choice of ancestries instead of race and think that it fits better on this case than for the "other system". It was a pleasant surprise to have one of the Saving Throws proficiency being chosen via the ancestry. I just felt that it lacked options, although it is not mentioned, I expect that, as with background, further ancestries options will be available on later material. I also did not felt that deep distinction in all of them. On top of that, I did not understand that if all ancestries are supposed to have two extra skill proficiencies, why "Experienced" is a thing and then we have also "Skill versatility". Perhaps the future options will clarify this designers' choice.

Backgrounds: Here it is explicitly mentioned that further option will be available on future materials. It details very well what is provided by choosing a background and despite some particular pet peeves of mine, I believe that the options are rich and interesting. Although I feel that Dilettante has some kind of an upper-hand during my first read, but I believe on the designers and that my concerns are undeserved.

Feats: I have to say that I saw some of the designers' public notes for what they wanted with the feats and I have to say that I loved it. It fills the characters with particularities and give them things that they are particularly good at. Most of the options are pretty self-explanatory and they feel really easy to use. There is no wrong answer when choosing feats, only what you want from your character. The most complex feat seems to be Persuasive Zealot, which I really think if it is a charming effect, by would assume that not, by the wording. Also, most option are what are popularly referred as "half-feat" which certainly does not bother me.

Damage, Healing & Rest: Loved that it heightens the challenge by extending the time needed for each rest when compared to the basic rules as well as the value needed on Death Saving Throws (pay attention to it experienced players). It depicts very well how to perform each type of rest and which actions may break it. The lingering injuries is one part that I always loved to incorporate on my games and I think that it is well detailed and adds sweetly to the tone of the game on mystery and horror.

Madness & Sanity: The "crème de la crème" of the system. The material invests a great deal of pages on them and I have to say that I particularly approve it. The system seems fitting and well thought, also presenting details for each transient/short-term and medium-/long-term psychoses. However I considered the changes between madness and insanity a bit confusing and think that a bit of editing could clean it up for future versions of the text.It is important to notice that losing sanity can quickly turn into a downward spiral, but it only seems fitting for the premise of the material and game. Some small clarification for me can be also done on the rules for a character to "control themselves" on a high-stress situation and on some situation that incites a sanity check (like the Forbidden Knowledge and the Unspeakable Horror sections). The GM's sheet is a great resource and for me add great value to all the set of rules.

Conclusion: All in all, I very much appreciated the material and would buy it again given the chance. Both M. T. Black and Matt are amazing designers (I can't believe I did not know that Matt had worked on Tales of the Old Margreve as well as on material for Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos). I recommend it for anyone interested on investigative horror games with a familiar set of rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e
Publisher: Saturday Morning Scenarios
by Jeremy E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2020 21:46:33

For being a set of quickstart rules, this product provides everything you need to get playing in a "real-world" setting filled with mystery and horror. It provides an excellent framework to build from and I'm excited to see what is released after this. You play as a human, or a human with mixed eldritch blood. Even though it uses 5E mechanics, it is a classless system. There are a variety of backgrounds to choose from and new feats. A limited amount of modern eqiupment is provided. Rules for sanity and madness are also included. I would have liked to see how magic was handled but that will be covered in future material. There is also a fairly long introductory adventure to get a group started. From following the progress of this product I know that it was playtested and the creators are known for high quality so I'm sure the adventure is good. Layout and design is straightforward and clean. My score is based on the fact that this is a quickstart guide and would expect more material in an expanded product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Whispers in the Dark: Quickstart Rules for 5e
Publisher: Saturday Morning Scenarios
by David B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2020 23:41:55

If you're a fan of investigative horror, or creepy tension filled role playing, or are just looking for a new way to play d&d 5e then this is for you! it is brilliantly written and a smooth pick up for any 5e group. I can not recommend this any more highly than I do, it is phenomenal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you David! Glad you liked it. Many, many more to come. -matt
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