Sunday, May 17, 2015

Is The Dark Outpost Adventure Series By James Ward & Chris Clark From From Eldritch Enterprises The Best Dungeon Crawl For The White Star Rpg System?

When it comes to weird happenings in space, the White Star rpg series has some fantastic stuff being produced but there's already a generic ready to plug in series of modules from the minds of one of the master's of the old school module. James Ward has done some amazing products in rpgs over the years but Dark Outpost surpasses these in spades. 

Grab It Right

James Ward's Dark Outpost is a great little module from Eldritch Enterprises..  This adventure goes into a weird happening in an isolated outpost. The adventure's outline reads something like this : 
"Dark Outpost is a generic science fiction adventure set aboard a space station in geosynchronous orbit above a small class M planet. This massive station, built by robots and crewed by automated machines, is the pride of the galactic fleet, and the hope of those that will colonize the planet below.  But something has gone wrong. 
Nearly a month ago, all communications from the outpost ceased.  A patrol vessel was sent in to investigate, and it, too, was never again heard from.  Since that time the Planet Kask outpost has been known as the Dark Outpost.  Have you the courage to explore its mystery?
Dark outpost is a frighteningly deadly adventure for 3 or more characters of moderate experience from the mind of the revered master of sci-fi, James M. Ward.  Packed with new material, Dark Oupost is more of a mini-campaign than a mere adventure, and it is guaranteed to provide dozens of hours of enjoyment over multiple play sessions for any game master."
If you want to give all of those alternative classes you've been seeing for White Star a workout then this series has plenty of opportunities but bring a lot of extra character sheets. This adventure doesn't pull any punches.

This is a pretty solid adventure that lives up to what it promises. The adventure clocks in at eighty eight pages of old school science fiction or science fantasy adventure. The type of game its set in depends largely on the DM. The story is fast, flexible, & pretty good. Without giving too much of it away there are some high points I'd like to hit. 

Grab It Right Over
The action continues in Dark Visitor and its a vicious but fun old school space horror game adventure with plenty of humor and horror in equal doses. This adventure can be linked to the previous Dark Outpost adventure with plenty of hooks just waiting for the PC's. This adventure adds a whole new spin to the dark goings on in space! Its an epic adventure into the bowels of an alien spacecraft; a world unlike any you have previously seen.  It is a living vessel, filled with undiscovered life forms, strange technologies, dangerous and unexpected pitfalls. The treasures here are great add ons for a game like White Star but this adventure breeds some very weird goings on. I've used Metamorphosis Alpha first edition in the past to run this one but just about any old school OD&D style game rules will work with it. The Dark Visitor adventure adds a much needed twist of both horror and humor in equal measure and its a nice change up from from the usual Swords and Wizardry in space vibe of White Star. And these are very well done adventures from pen of one of the best groups of writers of old school adventures in my humble opinion. 
   Reasons  For Using 
The Dark Series Of Adventures With The White Star System 

The Dark series of science fiction adventures offers the DM some very unique opportunities for dungeon crawling in space. These adventures are perfect for extended missions for campaigns of mid level groups of adventurers of various types. There's an almost television episode quality to the adventures allowing for a definitive cinematic feel to running them. They fit everything from pulp to a more serious tone of science fictional adventuring. 

There are a number of reasons for choosing to run these adventures with the the White Star System : 
  1. These adventures have some bare bones setting information that can easily be fleshed out by the DM into a fully functioning organization or two for their own campaigns. 
  2. There is plenty of death and destruction that can crossed over with other retroclone systems to create their own generic adventure locations in space where PC's can cross over from different game campaigns. Such is the nature of these adventures. 
  3. There's plenty of back tie in encounters, there have been other adventurers here before your PC's making this an easy tie in for PC back stories and reasons to go to both Dark Outpost and explore the Dark Visitor. 
  4. The tech jump alone in the relics aboard both locations is worth several fortunes and is perfect to lure in those space pirates and thieves of the space lanes. 
  5. The weirdness of both locations can easily be spread to other worlds and enable the DM to back trace the horrors of these locations back to their epic adventure location sources. 
  6. These adventures offer a myriad of space adventuring opportunities for DM's really looking to expand their games across a wide range of space settings. 
  7. These locations can easily port and plug into Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition which can back plug into White Star as well. Adding a fully realized campaign setting with minimum fuss. 
  8. Both adventures add in the sci fi horror element without being over the top gross or icky unless the DM wants to add in extra bits of weirdness. In other words these can be made kid friendly always a plus. 
  9. The Dark Series is a tour de force in old school dungeon design in space, the author has done a bang up job of presenting a solid and well rounded series of adventure locations that will have use for a very long time to come! 
  10. The Dark series of adventures is build to service a wide range of old school science fiction and fantasy games and as such the gaming utility of these adventures isn't to be under estimated. Played right and you could get years and years of use out of these. 


  1. I love Dark Outpost. It's a really impressive sourcebook. I haven't picked up Dark Visitor yet, but I really should.

    I had the Outpost floating around a forgotten corner of my last Stars Without Number game, but the players never made it out that far.

    They spent most of their time on Hard Light Station instead, which is another good sourcebook.

  2. Here's what I did with both books Fractalbat to get the players to actually get into the deep end of these adventures.
    I ran them separately first as one shots and only later did I run them together where the party found evidence of the first party's actions.
    Hardlight has had numerous spotlight time in my games. Stars Without Numbers has gotten a lot of attention at my table. And will in the near future again soon.

    1. That's fabulous.

      I love it when you can work in the adventures of previous groups like that. It really brings the game alive. Well done!

  3. Thanks but the use of foreshadowing and back echoing has been around since I started DMing.


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