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Dust to Dust $6.99 $5.24
Publisher: White Wolf
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/13/2016 08:48:40

This is an adventure for Vampire: The Masquerade V20 concerning the city of Gary, Indiana, a city which is in decline for reasons unspecified... and not wholly to do with vampires! It's deeply political, but is interesting that the party has the choice as to how much - even if - they get involved. Whilst they are assumed to be neonates, they ought to have at least some autonomy from their respective sires (although if they are in part acting as someone's agents that always adds to the fun!).

The Introduction includes details of how the Storyteller Adventure System works, for those new to it and explains how the PDF is set up with full hyperlinking to provide for ease of use. It also provides a comprehensive background to the plot and introduces some of the key players - vampires, mortals and others. Themes are recovery and progress, but the mood is bleak, due to the state of Gary itself. Unlike many adventures it is quite open-ended, in some ways more a 'setting' than an actual scenario, and - if the party decides to get really involved - could provide the basis for an entire chronicle. However all you really need is to come up with some reason for them to be in, or passing through, Gary. For that matter, they may not even be a party yet - if you are starting from scratch with new characters, their meeting and forming a cotorie might be an integral part of the game.

Scene set, we move on to the events themselves. It's not the sort of adventure which progresses neatly from event to event, rather there are a series of events which can occur within the setting and with the detailed NPCs provided - an excellent 'sandbox' adventure, but one which of necessity requires good planning and perhaps improvisation from the Storyteller.

The first event, Welcome to Gary, sets the scene for the whole adventure, concentrating on the thin pickings there are for a hungry vampire in the city, and giving them the chance to encounter some of the major players - for here even elders have to hunt in alleys like the meanest neonate!

Scene follows scene quite quickly. In each there's descriptive material to help you put across the picture, notes on which NPCs are around and what they are doing, and outlines of what could take place and how to moderate them. Certainly prior preparation is essential for this all to run smoothly whatever the characters decide to do. Each scene is rated as to whether its focus is social, physical or mental and there's a good selection so no matter what individual characters prefer they will get their chance to shire.

Possibly the most delightful scene involves a 'zombie walk', an event where ordinary mortals have been invited to dress up as zombies... it's not hard to think of ways in which a bunch of vampires could have fun at such an event. By the end, the characters should have changed the balance of power in Gary - for good or ill, who knows. It's open-ended enough that it could run and run, if they want to stay in Gary, or just be a sidenote in their reputations if they prefer to move on. It's intriguing, exciting... a fascinating spin on how vampires can affect, and be affected by, the world around them.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Dust to Dust
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