Tabletop Review: Accursed: Half-Light (Savage Worlds)

Accursed: Half-Light (Savage Worlds)
Publisher: Mellior Via
Cost: $1.25
Page Count: 4
Release Date: 04/10/2014
Get it Here; DriveThruRPG.com

Half-Light is the latest adventure for the Accursed setting for Savage Worlds which was launched in late 2013. This short little two page adventure (the other pages are the cover and legal mumbo jumbo) can be used as a stand-alone adventure or can be used in conjunction with the plot-point campaign found in the core Accursed rulebook. I should point out that with only two pages, Half-Light is more a story seed than a true adventure, as the GM that runs this will have to put a lot of work into fleshing it out and making it playable. There are no stats or mechanics to be had save for a block for a single NPC. As such, purchasers need to know how to put together an adventure almost from scratch, so this wouldn’t be a good fit for an inexperienced GM. I should also point out that while the adventure is only $1.25, to properly run it with the Accursed setting, you’ll need the Accursed rulebook, the Savage Worlds core rulebook and the Savage Worlds Horror Companion. That’s going to get expensive. Because you need three full rulebooks just to run this two page adventure, people who aren’t already heavily invested in Savage Worlds should either look elsewhere or consider taking the 99.99% systemless story seed and converting it to mechanics they already own or know quite well.

The story of Half-Light revolves around the village of Whitetarn, which has been completely slaughtered. Not a single resident has been left standing nor a single drop of blood lies upon the ground. The characters are cajoled into investigating this gruesome genocide by a local priest named Father Dhugal (as opposed to Dougal from Father Ted. They are also aided in the investigation by a dhampir named Sevtlana, who is as talented as she is both brusque and unlikeable. Once the village of Whitetarn is reached, players and their characters must solve the mystery of the strange deaths littering the area. Clues involve a missing ancient tome, a sacrilegious offering of a priest’s corpse and a pretty complicated and insidious plot by a powerful monster.

The adventure is pretty straight-forward aside from one fairly obvious twists that players will figure out before it actually occurs. It’s a paint by numbers style adventure and so any experienced gamer will know what is coming. The question will be whether or not the character’s knowledge and the player’s knowledge will match up. Half-Light should take more than one or two play sessions to complete as much of the adventure consists of investigation or talking heads. There is a bit of combat to be had in Half-Light but how much depends on how cerebral the players are. There isn’t much substance to be had due to the thin plot and short length of the PDF, but enterprising GMs can pad the adventure out to be longer if needed. There’s also a nice map of the chapel players will spend a lot of time in, but it’s much too small to be of any use. The PDF really should have offered this as a full page piece that GMs could then print out and use. Oddly enough a bigger version of the chapel can be found and downloaded directly from the DRiveThruRPG.com link at the top. Why it isn’t included in the PDF proper is a real head scratcher.

Overall, Half-Light is a thumbs in the middle. It’s a decently written piece and at only a dollar, it’s not going to break anyone’s bank. However it’s extremely straightforward and uses the same basic plot we’ve seen in many an adventure across pretty much every system ever. As such, it’s really only fun in the hands of a GM who can truly flesh this out and/or when played by very inexperienced gamers who won’t see the plot progression coming a mile away. I was more than a little disappointed this wasn’t a more original affair, but what can you do? As such, I can really only recommend Half-Light for diehard Accursed completionists.

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